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Monetary Intervention Mitigated Banking Panics During the Great Depression: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from the Federal Reserve District Border in Mississippi, 1929 to 1933

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  • Gary Richardson
  • William Troost

Abstract

The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 divided Mississippi between the 6th (Atlanta) and 8th (St. Louis) Federal Reserve Districts. Before and during the Great Depression, these districts' policies differed. The Atlanta Fed championed monetary activism and the extension of credit to troubled banks. The St. Louis Fed adhered to the doctrine of real bills and eschewed expansionary initiatives. Outcomes differed across districts. In the 6th District, banks failed at lower rates than in the 8th District, particularly during the banking panic in the fall of 1930. The pattern suggests that discount lending reduced failure rates during periods of panic. Historical evidence and statistical analysis corroborates this conclusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Richardson & William Troost, 2006. "Monetary Intervention Mitigated Banking Panics During the Great Depression: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from the Federal Reserve District Border in Mississippi, 1929 to 1933," NBER Working Papers 12591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12591
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christiano, Lawrence & Motto, Roberto & Rostagno, Massimo, 2004. "The Great Depression and the Friedman-Schwartz hypothesis," Working Paper Series 326, European Central Bank.
    2. Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2003. "The Great Depression and the Friedman-Schwartz hypothesis," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1119-1215.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gary B. Gorton, 2008. "The Panic of 2007," NBER Working Papers 14358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Gary Gorton, 2009. "The Subprime Panic," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 15(1), pages 10-46.
    3. Tchana Tchana, Fulbert, 2012. "The welfare cost of banking regulation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 217-232.
    4. Nanda, Ramana & Nicholas, Tom, 2014. "Did bank distress stifle innovation during the Great Depression?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 273-292.
    5. Gorton, Gary B., 2008. "The panic of 2007," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 131-262.
    6. Charles W. Calomiris, 2009. "Banking Crises and the Rules of the Game," Working Papers 2009/14, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
    7. Gary Richardson & William Troost, 2009. "Monetary Intervention Mitigated Banking Panics during the Great Depression: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a Federal Reserve District Border, 1929-1933," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(6), pages 1031-1073, December.
    8. Michael D. Bordo & John Landon-Lane, 2010. "The Lessons from the Banking Panics in the United States in the 1930s for the Financial Crisis of 2007-2008," NBER Working Papers 16365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Gary Richardson & Patrick Van Horn, 2011. "In the Eye of a Storm: Manhattan's Money Center Banks During the International Financial Crisis of 1931," NBER Working Papers 17437, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Nicolae Dardac & Adriana Giba, 2011. "Systemic Financial Crisis: A Cluster Analysis," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(2), pages 53-64.
    11. Postel-Vinay, Natacha, 2011. "From a “normal recession” to the “Great Depression”: finding the turning point in Chicago bank portfolios, 1923-1933," Economic History Working Papers 35518, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions

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