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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. (JEL G21, N21, O43)
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY 13346. Phone 1-315-228-7524, Fax: 1-315-228-7033 2: Professor, Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University, Box 1819 Station B, Nashville, TN 37235; Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA 02138. Phone 1-615-343-2466, Fax: 1-615-343-8495

Publication date: April 1, 2013

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