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Causes of bank suspensions in the panic of 1893

  • Mark Carlson

There are two competing theories explaining bank panics. One argues that panics are driven by real shocks, asymmetric information, and concerns about insolvency. The other theory argues that bank runs are self-fulfilling, driven by illiquidity and the beliefs of depositors. This paper tests predictions of these two theories using information uniquely available for the Crisis of 1893. The results suggest that real economic shocks were important determinants of the location of panics at the national level, however at the local level, both insolvency and illiquidity were important as triggers of bank panics.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2002-11.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2002-11
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  1. Calomiris, Charles W & Mason, Joseph R, 1997. "Contagion and Bank Failures during the Great Depression: The June 1932 Chicago Banking Panic," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 863-83, December.
  2. Reuven Glick & Andrew K. Rose, 1998. "Contagion and trade: why are currency crises regional?," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 98-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. V.V. Chari & Ravi Jagannathan, 1984. "Banking Panics," Discussion Papers 618, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Kelly, M. & O'Grada, C., 1999. "Market Contagion: Evidence from the Panics of 1854 and 1857," Papers 99/19, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  5. Cormac O Grada & Eugene N. White, 2002. "Who Panics During Panics? Evidence from a Nineteenth Century Savings Bank," NBER Working Papers 8856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Charles W. Calomiris & Gary Gorton, 1991. "The Origins of Banking Panics: Models, Facts, and Bank Regulation," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Markets and Financial Crises, pages 109-174 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Donaldson, R. Glen, 1992. "Sources of panics : Evidence from the weekly data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 277-305, November.
  8. Engineer, Merwan, 1989. "Bank runs and the suspension of deposit convertibility," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 443-454, November.
  9. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
  10. Miron, Jeffrey A, 1986. "Financial Panics, the Seasonality of the Nominal Interest Rate, and theFounding of the Fed," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 125-40, March.
  11. Neil Wallace, 1988. "Another attempt to explain an illiquid banking system: the Diamond and Dybvig model with sequential service taken seriously," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 3-16.
  12. Chari, V V & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1988. " Banking Panics, Information, and Rational Expectations Equilibrium," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 749-61, July.
  13. 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 230-48, April.
  14. Steven Radelet & Jeffrey Sachs, 1998. "The Onset of the East Asian Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 6680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Wicker,Elmus, 2000. "Banking Panics of the Gilded Age," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521770231.
  16. Wicker,Elmus, 1996. "The Banking Panics of the Great Depression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521562614.
  17. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1988. "Banking panics, information, and rational expectations equilibrium," Working Papers 320, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1990. "Asymmetric Information and Financial Crises: A Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 3400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. V.V. Chari, 1989. "Banking without deposit insurance or bank panics: lessons from a model of the U.S. national banking system," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 3-19.
  20. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
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