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Market Contagion: Evidence from the Panics of 1854 and 1857

Morgan Kelly and Cormac Ó Gráda
The American Economic Review
Vol. 90, No. 5 (Dec., 2000), pp. 1110-1124
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2677843
Page Count: 15
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Market Contagion: Evidence from the Panics of 1854 and 1857
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Abstract

To test a model of contagion-where individuals hear some bad news and communicate it to their acquaintances, who then pass it on, leading to a market panic-requires a knowledge of the information networks of participants, something hitherto unavailable. For two panics in the 1850's this paper examines the behavior of Irish depositors in a New York bank. As recent immigrants, their social network was determined largely by their place of origin in Ireland, and where they lived in New York. During both panics this social network turns out to be the prime determinant of behavior.

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