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Corporate-Finance Benefits from Universal Banking: Germany and the United States, 1870-1914


  • Charles W. Calomiris


Limitations on bank consolidation and branching in the United States at an early date effectively limited the scope of commercial banks and their involvement in financing large-scale industry, and increased information and transaction costs of issuing securities. In contrast, German industry was financed by large-scale universal banks who maintained long-term relationships with firms, involving ongoing monitoring and disciplining of management, and underwriting. Low costs of German industrial finance are reflected in lower investment banking spreads on securities issues and a higher propensity to issue equity relative to the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles W. Calomiris, 1993. "Corporate-Finance Benefits from Universal Banking: Germany and the United States, 1870-1914," NBER Working Papers 4408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4408
    Note: CF DAE

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mayer, Colin, 1988. "New issues in corporate finance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1167-1183, June.
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    7. Alden L. Toevs, 1992. "Under what circumstances do bank mergers improve efficiency?," Proceedings 378, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vitols, Sigurt, 1995. "Corporate governance versus economic governance: banks and industrial restructuring in the US and Germany," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economic Change and Employment FS I 95-310, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    2. Carlo Brambilla & Giandomenico Piluso, 2007. "Are Banks Procyclical? Evidence from the Italian Case (1890-1973)," Department of Economics University of Siena 523, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    3. David C. Wheelock, 1993. "Is the banking industry in decline? Recent trends and future prospects from a historical perspective," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 3-22.
    4. Park, Sangkyun, 2000. "Effects of the affiliation of banking and commerce on the firm's investment and the bank's risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1629-1650, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services


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