Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Looking Back On the Age of Checking in America, 1800-1960

Jaremski, Matthew and Mathy, Gabrial (2017): Looking Back On the Age of Checking in America, 1800-1960.

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The United States not only used bank checks the most but also clung to their use far longer than other developed nations. However, now in the twilight of the check, we trace the evolution of the checking system in the United States through its major phases from the founding of the nation through the modern period, including the rise of clearinghouses, the growth of the interbank clearing network, the Federal Reserve’s establishment of nation-wide central clearing, and the adoption of standardized magnetic imaging for easy processing of checks. Our empirical analysis examines the determinants of check clearing both at the aggregate and state-level in order to shed light on the nation’s dominant use of checks.

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