Societal Trust and Financial Market Participation: Evidence from the Freedman's Savings Bank
108 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2018 Last revised: 21 Oct 2020
Date Written: October 19, 2020
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. Community organizations and individuals with local roots exhibit more trust during a financial panic, and they are more likely to have 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