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Real Shock, Monetary Aftershock: The San Francisco Earthquake and the Panic of 1907

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Listed:
  • Kerry A. Odell
  • Marc D. Weidenmier

Abstract

Economists have long studied the relationship between the real and monetary sectors. We examine the macroeconomic effects of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, a shock that immediately reduced United States. GNP by 1.5-1.8 percentage points. The quake's impact manifested itself in gold flows, as British insurance companies paid their San Francisco claims out of home funds in the fall of 1906. The capital outflow prompted the Bank of England to raise interest rates and discriminate against American finance bills. British bank policy pushed the US into recession and set the stage for the 1907 financial crisis. The 1907 panic led to the formation of the National Monetary Commission whose proposals recommended the creation of the Federal Reserve. In this study, we identify the San Francisco earthquake as the shock that triggered the chain of events that culminated in the panic of 1907.

Suggested Citation

  • Kerry A. Odell & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2002. "Real Shock, Monetary Aftershock: The San Francisco Earthquake and the Panic of 1907," NBER Working Papers 9176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9176
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Carlson, 2015. "Lessons from the Historical Use of Reserve Requirements in the United States to Promote Bank Liquidity," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 11(1), pages 191-224, January.
    2. Bas van Bavel & Daniel Curtis, 2015. "Better understanding disasters by better using history: Systematically using the historical record as one way to advance research into disasters," Working Papers 0068, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    3. Michael D. Bordo & Joseph G. Haubrich, 2017. "Deep Recessions, Fast Recoveries, And Financial Crises: Evidence From The American Record," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(1), pages 527-541, January.
    4. Eric Hilt, 2009. "Wall Street's First Corporate Governance Crisis: The Panic of 1826," NBER Working Papers 14892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jaremski, Matthew & Wheelock, David C., 2020. "The Founding of the Federal Reserve, the Great Depression, and the Evolution of the U.S. Interbank Network," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 69-99, March.
    6. Fohlin, Caroline & Gehrig, Thomas & Haas, Marlene, 2015. "Rumors and Runs in Opaque Markets: Evidence from the Panic of 1907," CEPR Discussion Papers 10497, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Green, Georgina, 2018. "Monetary policy spillovers in the first age of financial globalisation: a narrative VAR approach 1884–1913," Bank of England working papers 718, Bank of England.
    8. Koetter, Michael & Noth, Felix & Rehbein, Oliver, 2019. "Borrowers under water! Rare disasters, regional banks, and recovery lending," IWH Discussion Papers 31/2016, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    9. Ivan Faiella & Filippo Natoli, 2018. "Natural catastrophes and bank lending: the case of flood risk in Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 457, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    10. Charles, Amélie & Darné, Olivier, 2012. "Trends and random walks in macroeconomic time series: A reappraisal," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 167-180.
    11. Olivier Darné & Amélie Charles, 2011. "Large shocks in U.S. macroeconomic time series: 1860-1988," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 5(1), pages 79-100, January.
    12. Carola Frydman & Eric Hilt & Lily Y. Zhou, 2015. "Economic Effects of Runs on Early "Shadow Banks": Trust Companies and the Impact of the Panic of 1907," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(4), pages 902-940.
    13. Christopher M. Meissner, 2013. "Capital Flows, Credit Booms, and Financial Crises in the Classical Gold Standard Era," NBER Working Papers 18814, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Michael D. Bordo & John S. Landon-Lane, 2012. "The Global Financial Crisis: Is It Unprecedented?," Chapters, in: Maurice Obstfeld & Dongchul Cho & Andrew Mason (ed.),Global Economic Crisis, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    15. Ellis W. Tallman & Jon R. Moen, 2018. "The transmission of the financial crisis in 1907: an empirical investigation," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 12(2), pages 277-312, May.
    16. Frederic S. Mishkin & Eugene N. White, 2014. "Unprecedented Actions: The Federal Reserve’s Response to the Global Financial Crisis in Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 20737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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