NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

A Comparison of the United States and Canadian Banking Systems in the Twentieth Century: Stability vs. Efficiency?

Michael D. Bordo, Hugh Rockoff, Angela Redish

NBER Working Paper No. 4546 (Also Reprint No. r2085)
Issued in November 1993
NBER Program(s):   ME

This paper asks whether the vaunted comparative stability of the Canadian banking system has been purchased at the cost of creating an oligopoly. We assembled a data set that compares bank failures, lending rates, interest paid on deposits and related variables over the period 1920 to 1980. Our principal findings are that: (1) interest rates paid on deposits were generally higher in Canada; (2) interest income received on securities was generally slightly higher in Canada; (3) interest rates charged on loans were generally quite similar; (4) net rates of return to equity were generally higher in Canada than in the U.S..

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4546

Published:

  • "The U.S. Banking System from a Northern Exposure: Stability vs. Efficiency ." Journal of Economic History, Vol 54 (June 1994): 325-341.
  • R2085 same as wp title: in Anglo-American Financial Systems: Institutions and Markets in the Twentieth Century, Michael D. Bordo and Richard Sylla, eds., pp. 11-40, (Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin Professional Publishing, 1995).

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