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Banks, Free Banks, and U.S. Economic Growth

  • Matthew Jaremski
  • Peter L. Rousseau

The "Federalist financial revolution" may have jump-started the U.S. economy into modern growth, but the Free Banking System (1837-1862) did not play a direct role in sustaining it. Despite lowering entry barriers and extending banking into developing regions, we find in county-level data that free banks had little or no effect on growth. The result is not just a symptom of the era, as state-chartered banks seem to have strong and positive effects on manufacturing and urbanization.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18021.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18021.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
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Publication status: published as Matthew Jaremski & Peter L. Rousseau, 2013. "Banks, Free Banks, And U.S. Economic Growth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1603-1621, 04.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18021
Note: DAE ME
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  1. Howard Bodenhorn & David Cuberes, 2010. "Financial Development and City Growth: Evidence from Northeastern American Cities, 1790-1870," NBER Working Papers 15997, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. King, Robert G & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-37, August.
  3. Rousseau, Peter L & Wachtel, Paul, 1998. "Financial Intermediation and Economic Performance: Historical Evidence from Five Industrialized Countries," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(4), pages 657-78, November.
  4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521669993 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Demetriades, Panicos O. & Hussein, Khaled A., 1996. "Does financial development cause economic growth? Time-series evidence from 16 countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 387-411, December.
  6. Kenneth L . Sokoloff, 1983. "Investment in Fixed and Working Capital During Early Industrialization: Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing Firms," UCLA Economics Working Papers 311, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. Peter L. Rousseau & Richard Sylla, 1999. "Emerging Financial Markets and Early U.S. Growth," NBER Working Papers 7448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gerald P. Dwyer, Jr. & Iftekhar Hasan, 1996. "Suspension of payments, bank failures, and the nonbank public's losses," Working Paper 96-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  9. Scott Fulford, 2010. "If financial development matters, then how? National banks in the United States 1870-1900," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 753, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 15 May 2012.
  10. Rousseau, Peter L., 2002. "Jacksonian Monetary Policy, Specie Flows, And The Panic Of 1837," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(02), pages 457-488, June.
  11. Arthur J. Rolnick & Warren E. Weber, 1986. "Inherent Instability in Banking: The Free Banking Experience," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 5(3), pages 877-890, Winter.
  12. Matthew Jaremski, 2010. "Free Bank Failures: Risky Bonds versus Undiversified Portfolios," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(8), pages 1565-1587, December.
  13. Rolnick, Arthur J. & Weber, Warren E., 1984. "The causes of free bank failures : A detailed examination," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 267-291, November.
  14. Rockoff, Hugh, 1974. "The Free Banking Era: A Reexamination," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 6(2), pages 141-67, May.
  15. Rolnick, Arthur J & Weber, Warren E, 1983. "New Evidence on the Free Banking Era," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1080-91, December.
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