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The Speed of the Financial Revolution: Evidence from Hoare's Bank

  • Peter Temin
  • Hans-Joachim Voth

Finance is important for development, yet the onset of modern economic growth in Britain lagged the British financial revolution by over a century. We present evidence from a new West-End London private bank to explain this delay. Hoare's Bank loaned primarily to a highly select and well-born clientele, although it did not discriminate against "unknown" borrowers in the early 18th century. It could not extend credit more generally because of government restrictions (usury limits) and policies (frequent wars). Britain's financial development could have aided growth substantially, had it not been for the rigidities and turmoil introduced by government interference.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 212.

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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:212
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  1. Temin, Peter & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2006. "Banking as an emerging technology: Hoare's Bank, 1702 1742," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 149-178, October.
  2. Peter L. Rousseau & Richard Sylla, 2001. "Financial Systems, Economic Growth, and Globalization," NBER Working Papers 8323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Levine, Ross & Zervos, Sara, 1998. "Stock Markets, Banks, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 537-58, June.
  4. John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 1999. "Interfirm Relationships And Informal Credit In Vietnam," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1285-1320, November.
  5. Quinn, Stephen, 2001. "The Glorious Revolution'S Effect On English Private Finance: A Microhistory, 1680 1705," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(03), pages 593-615, September.
  6. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
  7. Sussman, Nathan & Yafeh, Yishay, 2004. "Constitutions and Commitment: Evidence on the Relation Between Institutions and the Cost of Capital," CEPR Discussion Papers 4404, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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