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Sockenbankirerna: Vånga socken i Skåne 1840-1900
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, Comparative Religion and Gender Studies.
2005 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Theories on human behaviour and transaction costs contribute to our present understanding of why new institutions, such as banks, were established. Private promissory notes had long been circulated as local instruments of credit, and to a much greater degree than the new banknotes. While the time period in question certainly favoured the development of banks, institutional economic theory doesn’t really highlight the cultural conditions relevant to their creation. People are cultural creatures. This narrative focuses on the importance of that – from an economic perspective.

Conditions for the institutionalisation of the credit market and its significance for economic growth and structural social change are investigated through a local historical study. Interpersonal relations are in focus – the social activity field expressed through credit transactions – both before and after the establishment of the local savings bank. The aim is to find suitable methods for further research. In this particular case, the epistemological starting point and analytic method is the new cultural history.

The study has been facilitated by a technique that makes use of population statistical data and probate inventories where the economic circumstances of deceased persons are compared to those of a corresponding living population group. In short, the latter’s credits are estimated and compared with the local savings bank’s actual lending activities, and of which the discrepancy is not more than 10 percent.

The result shows that there were specific people in the local community who had the knowledge and ability to change the credit market in a very short time – within a generation. This happened during an intensive period for the country’s financial markets, where all the credit segments expanded at the same time.

This transformation was not, however, prompted by the early “parish bankers”. In the economic web that had previously connected households to each other, and that consisted of chains of situations of a ritual character, the parish bankers had dominated. The formation of the savings bank meant the appearance of new actors: bank officials with strictly formalised routines. A kind of power shift occurred that contributed to a definite change – a discontinuity – in the history of the local credit market.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nordiska museets förlag , 2005. , 312 p.
Nordiska museets handlingar, ISSN 0346-8585 ; 130
Keyword [en]
institutional economic theory, transaction costs, claims, incurring of debts, interpersonal relationships, rituals, relational power, counter power, categorical inequality, continuity, discontinuity, probate inventories, cultural history, mortality, poverty, savings bank, insider loans, local credit market, finance patterns, social activity fields, lending policy, borrowing strategies, promissory notes, debts
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-612ISBN: 91-7108-500-9OAI: diva2:196053
Public defence
2005-09-30, hörsal 4, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2005-08-18 Created: 2005-08-18Bibliographically approved

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