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Bank Panics, Suspensions, and Geography: Some Notes on the "Contagion of Fear" in Banking


  • Smith, Bruce D


Recent attempts to understand bank panics tend to emphasize informational asymmetries or the possibilities of multiple equilibria. Such approaches stand in contrast to historical research that emphasizes legal factors influencing the organization of the banking system. This paper constructs a model of a banking system operating under regulations similar to those in effect under the National Banking System and in which information is complete. In all other respect the model resembles that of Douglas W. Diamond and Philip Dybvig (1983). The results indicate that, given the regulatory environment, it would have been surprising if suspensions of convertibility had not recurred periodically. Copyright 1991 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Smith, Bruce D, 1991. "Bank Panics, Suspensions, and Geography: Some Notes on the "Contagion of Fear" in Banking," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 230-248, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:29:y:1991:i:2:p:230-48

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Productivity Growth and R&D at the Business Level: Results from the PIMS Data Base," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 134-156 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    5. Link, Albert N, 1981. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing: Additional Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 1111-1112, December.
    6. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard C. Levin & David C. Mowery, 1987. "Firm Size and R&D Intensity: A Re-Examination," NBER Working Papers 2205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Stern, Robert M & Baum, Christopher F & Greene, Mark N, 1979. "Evidence on Structural Change in the Demand for Aggregate U.S. Imports and Exports," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(1), pages 179-192, February.
    8. Mansfield, Edwin, 1980. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 863-873, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. E.J. Stevens, 1991. "Is there any rationale for reserve requirements?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q III, pages 2-17.
    2. Hoag, Christopher, 2005. "Deposit drains on "interest-paying" banks before financial crises," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 567-585, October.
    3. Bougheas, Spiros, 1999. "Contagious bank runs," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 131-146, June.
    4. Uhlig, Harald, 2010. "A model of a systemic bank run," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 78-96, January.
    5. John H. Boyd & Mark Gertler, 1993. "U.S. Commercial Banking: Trends, Cycles, and Policy," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1993, Volume 8, pages 319-377 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Carlson, Mark, 2005. "Causes of bank suspensions in the panic of 1893," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 56-80, January.
    7. Russell Cooper & Joao Ejarque, 1995. "Financial Intermediation and The Great Depression: A Multiple Equilibrium Interpretation," NBER Working Papers 5130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Yang, Hsin-Feng & Liu, Chih-Liang & Chou, Ray Yeutien, 2014. "Interest rate risk propagation: Evidence from the credit crunch," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 242-264.
    9. William C. Hunter & David A. Marshall, 1999. "Thoughts on financial derivatives, systematic risk, and central banking: a review of some recent developments," Working Paper Series WP-99-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    10. Mathieu B├ędard, 2016. "In Which Context is the Option Clause Desirable?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 139(2), pages 287-297, December.
    11. Cooper, Russell & Ejarque, Joao, 1995. "Financial intermediation and the Great Depression: a multiple equilibrium interpretation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 285-323, December.
    12. Raphael H. Solomon, 2004. "When Bad Things Happen to Good Banks: Contagious Bank Runs and Currency Crises," Staff Working Papers 04-18, Bank of Canada.

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