National Banking's Role in U.S. Industrialization, 1850-1900
NBER Working Paper No. 18789
The passage of the National Banking Acts stabilized the existing financial system and encouraged the entry of 729 banks between 1863 and 1866. The national banks not only attracted more deposits than previous state banks, but also concentrated in the area that would eventually become the Manufacturing Belt. Using a new bank census, the paper shows that these changes to the financial system were a major determinant of the geographic distribution of manufacturing. The sudden entry not only resulted in more manufacturing capital and output at the county-level, but also more steam engines and value added at the establishment-level.
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