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Rolnick and Weber found that a sharp decline in asset prices led to bank panics and, ultimately, bank failures during the free banking era. An examination of New York and Wisconsin free bank portfolios prior to a fall in asset prices indicates banks that weathered the turmoil held significantly different portfolios than closed banks. In general, solvent banks held more loans and specie, and issued more deposits and less bank notes than closed banks.


The item available here for download is the authors' final version of an article originally published online in Explorations in Economic History, October 1990, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 421-441.

The final publication is available at ScienceDirect via

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