Rent-Seeking Origins of Central Banks: The Case of the Federal Reserve System

MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics No. 8/2011

19 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2011 Last revised: 16 Apr 2012

See all articles by Tomáš Otáhal

Tomáš Otáhal

Mendel University - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 17, 2011

Abstract

What were the purposes for establishment of central banks? Central banks are historically relatively young organizations. Their main purposes are to regulate money supply through interest rates, regulate the banking sector and act as a lender of last resort to banking sector during the time of financial crises. Historical evidence suggests that in the second half of 19th century in the USA private clearing houses were able to provide the banking sector with similar services. In this paper, we follow such evidence and provide Public Choice explanation for establishment of central banks. On the historical example of establishment of the Federal Reserve System we show that the motivation for establishment of the Federal Reserve System might be rather political instead of economic. More precisely, we argue that the Federal Reserve System was established to allow the American Federal Government to control rent-distribution through money supply control and banking sector regulation.

Keywords: Federal Reserve System, financial markets institutions, historical example, rent-seeking

JEL Classification: D72, D73, N21, E42, E58

Suggested Citation

Otáhal, Tomáš, Rent-Seeking Origins of Central Banks: The Case of the Federal Reserve System (April 17, 2011). MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics No. 8/2011 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1813102 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1813102

Tomáš Otáhal (Contact Author)

Mendel University - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Staňkova 578/16b
Brno, 602 00
Czech Republic

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