Workshop "Where is the money? Financial networks and the geography of credit development"


Date: 6–7 October 2022

Venue: Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Otto-Wagner-Platz 3, 1090 Vienna

Conveners: Maria Stella Chiaruttini and Clemens Jobst (University of Vienna), Marianna Astore (Marie-Curie Fellow, Paris School of Economics)


The financial crisis of 2007–2008 mercilessly exposed both the importance of financial interconnectedness across the globe and our still insufficient understanding of it, spurring a surge in scholarly research devoted to this issue. Less conspicuously but not less importantly, technological progress, structural change and processes of economic integration and disintegration are also constantly reshaping banking networks at a local and a global level, with potentially significant consequences on growth and inequality.

Financial historians have always been aware of the crucial role played by credit networks – in the form of multibranch banking systems, interbank correspondent networks and links between banks and non-bank financial intermediaries – for the development and resilience of modern markets. There are however many aspects of banking networks that deserve further attention. A first challenge is their quantitative analysis. This lack of data, in turn, prevents us from studying the features of competition and complementary between partly overlapping credit networks, the interactions between these networks and local economic development as well as the role of banking interconnectedness in the spread or containment of financial crises.

The managerial aspects of building, running and supervising banking networks have also been so far unduly neglected. This is evident, for instance, in the literature on the emergence of central banking, which touches upon but does not provide a comprehensive and comparative picture of the role played in local markets by the branches of the future central banks, of the inner workings of these branch networks and their functional links with other kinds of banking networks. Finally, even more overlooked is the political dimension of banking networks and the way in which they react to radical institutional changes concerning the competition and regulatory regime, nationalization and liberalization processes, and their place within free-market and centrally planned economies.

In this workshop we will reflect on these and related issues on the basis of cutting-edge research by international scholars combining global and national perspectives from the seventeenth century to the present day. 

The keynote speech will be given by Professor Catherine Schenk (University of Oxford).

Programme (pdf)

Workshop jointly organized by the University of Vienna (Department of Economic and Social History) and the Paris School of Economics with the generous support of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank. This project has also received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 898910.