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Deposit Insurance and Bank Failures: New Evidence from the 1920s


  • Wheelock, David C


This paper examines the contributions of deposit insurance to bank failures during the 1920s. Using individual bank data from Kansas, where membership in the state insurance system was voluntary, the author finds that the balance sheets of insured banks reflected greater risk-taking and probit model estimates indicate that insured banks were more likely to fail than noninsured banks. Insurance had an especially strong impact the closer a bank was to failure. Because regulation was comparatively strict in Kansas, the findings suggest that deposit insurance had an even greater impact in other states and in the recent U.S. experience. Copyright 1992 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Wheelock, David C, 1992. "Deposit Insurance and Bank Failures: New Evidence from the 1920s," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(3), pages 530-543, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:30:y:1992:i:3:p:530-43

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eckbo, B. Espen, 1983. "Horizontal mergers, collusion, and stockholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 241-273, April.
    2. Ordover, Janusz A & Saloner, Garth & Salop, Steven C, 1990. "Equilibrium Vertical Foreclosure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 127-142, March.
    3. Michael A. Salinger, 1988. "Vertical Mergers and Market Foreclosure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(2), pages 345-356.
    4. Jensen, Michael C. & Ruback, Richard S., 1983. "The market for corporate control : The scientific evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 5-50, April.
    5. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    6. Allen, Bruce T, 1971. "Vertical Integration and Market Foreclosure: The Case of Cement and Concrete," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 251-274, April.
    7. Dodd, Peter, 1980. "Merger proposals, management discretion and stockholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 105-137, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brahim Guizani & Wako Watanabe, 2010. "The Deposit Insurance and the Risk-Shifting Incentive Evidence from the Blanket Deposit Insurance in Japan," Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Discussion Paper Series 2010-004, Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Program.
    2. Esty, Benjamin C., 1998. "The impact of contingent liability on commercial bank risk taking," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 189-218, February.
    3. Mitchener, Kris James & Wheelock, David C., 2013. "Does the structure of banking markets affect economic growth? Evidence from U.S. state banking markets," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 161-178.
    4. Eugene N. White, 1998. "The Legacy of Deposit Insurance: The Growth, Spread, and Cost of Insuring Financial Intermediaries," NBER Chapters,in: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century, pages 87-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bixter, Michael T. & Luhmann, Christian C., 2014. "Shared losses reduce sensitivity to risk: A laboratory study of moral hazard," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 63-73.
    6. Wheelock, David C., 1992. "Regulation and Bank Failures: New Evidence from the Agricultural Collapse of the 1920s," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 806-825, December.
    7. Lambert, Claudia & Noth, Felix & Schüwer, Ulrich, 2017. "How do insured deposits affect bank risk? Evidence from the 2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 81-102.
    8. Eugene N. White, 2014. "Lessons from the Great American Real Estate Boom and Bust of the 1920s," NBER Chapters,in: Housing and Mortgage Markets in Historical Perspective, pages 115-158 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Charles W. Calomiris & Eugene N. White, 1994. "The Origins of Federal Deposit Insurance," NBER Chapters,in: The Regulated Economy: A Historical Approach to Political Economy, pages 145-188 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Agusman, Agusman & Cullen, Grant S. & Gasbarro, Dominic & Monroe, Gary S. & Zumwalt, J. Kenton, 2014. "Government intervention, bank ownership and risk-taking during the Indonesian financial crisis," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 114-131.
    11. Stolz, Stéphanie, 2002. "The Relationship between Bank Capital, Risk-Taking, and Capital Regulation: A Review of the Literature," Kiel Working Papers 1105, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    12. Ioannidou, Vasso P. & Penas, María Fabiana, 2010. "Deposit insurance and bank risk-taking: Evidence from internal loan ratings," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 95-115, January.
    13. Park, Junghee, 2012. "Corruption, soundness of the banking sector, and economic growth: A cross-country study," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 907-929.
    14. repec:fgv:epgrbe:v:66:n:2:a:2 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Lee, Wai Sing & Kwok, Chuck C. Y., 2000. "Domestic and international practice of deposit insurance: a survey," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 29-62, January.
    16. Duran, Miguel A. & Lozano-Vivas, Ana, 2014. "Risk shifting in the US banking system: An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 64-74.

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