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Immigrants, Savers, and Runners: The Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank in the 1850s


  • Cormac Ó. Gráda

    (University College Dublin)


The records of a New York savings bank founded by Irish immigrants in 1850 are used to shed light on immigrant savings patterns and the early history of savings banks. The analysis of the occupations and addresses of individual account holders reveals a very broad cross-section of the New York Irish and some representation - about ten per cent in the 1850s - of other nationalities. Accounts tended to be held for relatively short intervals, and the numbers of deposits and withdrawals small. Most account holders used the bank for current account rather than nestegg purposes. The final section of the paper contains a preliminary analysis of account-holder behaviour during the panic of 1854.

Suggested Citation

  • Cormac Ó. Gráda, 1997. "Immigrants, Savers, and Runners: The Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank in the 1850s," Discussion Papers 97-24, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:9724

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oswald, Andrew J, 1985. " The Economic Theory of Trade Unions: An Introductory Survey," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 160-193.
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    3. Bulow, Jeremy I & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "A Theory of Dual Labor Markets with Application to Industrial Policy,Discrimination, and Keynesian Unemployment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 376-414, July.
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    5. Neumark, David & Wascher, William, 1995. "Minimum-Wage Effects on School and Work Transitions of Teenagers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 244-249, May.
    6. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
    7. Alan Manning, 1995. "How Do We Know That Real Wages Are Too High?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1111-1125.
    8. Mark A. Roberts, & Karsten Staehr Torben Tranaes,, "undated". "Two-Stage Bargaining and Minimum Wages in a Dual Labour Market," Discussion Papers 97/4, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
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    More about this item


    migration; banking; panics; economic history;

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations


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