A recent study by Kenneth Ng (1988) challenges the view that free banking laws lowered barriers to entry. The authors' study examines bank entry and capital formation in free and nonfree banking states during the free banking period. A competitive model is developed and used to test if barriers were lowered in free banking states. The evidence indicates that entry significantly increased after the enactment of the free banking laws and that entry policy in nonfree banking states appeared to have been 'liberalized' when the free banking laws were enacted in other states.
Economopoulos, Andrew J. and O'Neill, Heather M., "Bank Entry During the Antebellum Period" (1995). Business and Economics Faculty Publications. 18.