Societal Trust and Financial Market Participation: Evidence from the Freedman's Savings Bank
104 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2018 Last revised: 13 May 2021
Date Written: May 11, 2021
Using a novel dataset from the Freedman's Savings Bank, we examine how societal trust impacts policy makers' goals of increased financial participation and economic integration. We find that events that impact trust in political representation and public safety also impact financial participation. The same factors that make communities resilient to racial violence also influence the reactions to financial panics, which increases the likelihood of having wealth destroyed in a collapse, particularly as compared to white depositors. Our results demonstrate how the inherent fragility of financial institutions can cause disproportionate damage to the stability of disenfranchised communities.
Keywords: banking, bank runs, financial participation, development economics, African American economic history, access to finance
JEL Classification: G21, N11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation