The Savings of Ordinary Americans: The Philadelphia Saving Fund Society in the Mid-Nineteenth Century

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The Savings of Ordinary Americans: The Philadelphia Saving Fund Society in the Mid-Nineteenth Century

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Title: The Savings of Ordinary Americans: The Philadelphia Saving Fund Society in the Mid-Nineteenth Century
Author: Goldin, Claudia; Alter, George; Rotella, Elyce

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Alter, George, Claudia Goldin, and Elyce Rotella. 1994. The savings of ordinary Americans: The Philadelphia saving fund society in the mid-nineteenth century. Journal of Economic History 54(4): 735-767.
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Abstract: We explore the savings behavior of ordinary Americans through their accounts at the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society, the oldest mutual savings bank in the United States. Our sample contains all 2,374 accounts opened in 1850. Savings accounts were generally brief affairs, but median balances mounted to about three-quarters of annual income in three years. Deposits and withdrawals were infrequent, but substantial. Only female servants, as a group, used their accounts for life-cycle savings, eventually amassing large nest eggs. Men often used them to hold funds before acquiring physical property. We estimate saving rates between 10 and 15 percent on active accounts.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3386/w4126
Other Sources: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2123609
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:2643655

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7501]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University
 
 

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