Quarterly Data on the Categories and Causes of Bank Distress During the Great Depression
During the contraction from 1929 through 1933, the Federal Reserve System tracked changes in the status of all banks operating in the United States and determined the cause of each bank suspension. This essay introduces quarterly series derived from that hitherto dormant data and presents aggregate series constructed from it. The new data series will supplement, and in some cases, supplant the data currently used to study banking panics of the Great Depression, which was published by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in 1937.
I thank Shagufta Ahmed, Shaista Ahmed, Jacqueline Chattopadhay, Ching-Yi Chung, Nathan Montgomery, Yuiichi Inomata, Mark Ng, Mitra Pai, Doris Sum, Brandon Tsang, Ian Wagner, and Eve Wang for research assistance. I thank Reid Click, Deborah Kauffman, Ed and Edwin Richardson, and Gloria Richardson for accommodations near the National Archives. I thank Erik Heitfield for the loan of photographic equipment. I thank Marigee Bacolod, Dan Bogart, William Branch, Mark Carlson, Milton Friedman, Michelle Garfinkel, Joseph Mason, Kris Mitchener, and Elmus Wicker for comments on earlier drafts of this essay. I thank numerous friends and colleagues for comments, advice, and encouragement. Portions of this research was funded by NSF Grant D/SES-0551232. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Richardson, Gary. “Quarterly Data on the Categories and Causes of Bank Distress during the Great Depression." Research in Economic History 25 (January 2008): 37-115.