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Free Banking in Scotland, 1695-1845

Sheila Dow and John Smithin

Scottish Journal of Political Economy, 1992, vol. 39, issue 4, 374-90

Abstract: Scottish banking experience in the period 1695-1845 is frequently used in support of arguments in favor of free banking. The purpose of this article is to assess whether this experience can be treated as a case study in free banking and whether the experience does support the free-banking argument. It is concluded that the case is a relevant one, albeit with its own particular features. Nevertheless, the Scottish experience suggests that free competition in banking leads to concentration and to leading banks taking on central banking functions. The implication is that free banking in the pure sense is unsustainable. Copyright 1992 by Scottish Economic Society.

Date: 1992
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Scottish Journal of Political Economy is currently edited by Tim Barmby, Andrew Hughes-Hallett and Campbell Leith

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:39:y:1992:i:4:p:374-90