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Regulated free banking in Switzerland (1881–1907)

Nils Herger ()
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Nils Herger: Study Center Gerzensee

Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, 2021, vol. 157, issue 1, 1-12

Abstract: Abstract The free-banking history of Switzerland is subdivided into periods with unfettered competition (1826–1881), and strict banknote regulation (1881–1907). This paper suggests that the Federal Banknote Act of 1881 was introduced to remedy the fragmentation of the unfettered-competition period, during which private note-issuing banks were unable to issue standardised paper money. Although the corresponding minimum-reserve and mutual-acceptance rules led to a standardisation, they created new problems. For example, these regulatory interventions reduced the flexibility (or “elasticity”) of the paper-money supply. It turned out that a central note-issuing bank is needed to supply adequate amounts of standardised banknotes.

Keywords: Central bank; Free banking; Note-issuing bank; Switzerland (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E42 N14 N23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1186/s41937-021-00078-w

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