Working Paper

Liquidity Requirements, Free-Riding, and the Implications for Financial Stability Evidence from the Early 1900s


Abstract: Maintaining sufficient liquidity in the financial system is vital for financial stability. However, since returns on liquid assets are typically low, individual financial institutions may seek to hold fewer such assets, especially if they believe they can rely on other institutions for liquidity support. We examine whether state banks in the early 1900s took advantage of relatively high cash balances maintained by national banks, due to reserve requirements, to hold less cash themselves. We find that state banks did hold less cash in places where both state legal requirements were lower and national banks were more prevalent.

Keywords: Financial stability; Free-riding; Liquidity requirements; Reserve requirements;

JEL Classification: D40; G38; N21; N41;

https://doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2018.018

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)

Part of Series: Finance and Economics Discussion Series

Publication Date: 2018-03-09

Number: 2018-018