Financial Repression in a Natural Experiment: Loan Allocation and the Change in the Usury Laws in 1714
AbstractIf financial deepening aids economic growth, then financial repression should be harmful. We use a natural experiment in the change in the English usury laws in 1714 to analyze the effects of interest rate restrictions. We use a sample of individual loan transactions to demonstrate how the reduction of the legal maximum rate of interest affected the supply and demand for credit. Average loan size and minimum loan size increased strongly, and access to credit worsened for those with little "social capital." While we have no direct evidence that loans were misallocated, the discontinuity in loan receipts makes this highly likely. We conclude that financial repression can undermine the positive effects of financial deepening.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 209.
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Economic development; banking; financial repression; usury laws; credit rationing; natural experiments; lending decisions;
Other versions of this item:
- Temin, Peter & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2004. "Financial Repression in a Natural Experiment: Loan Allocation and the Change in the Usury Laws in 1714," CEPR Discussion Papers 4452, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- O16 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
- N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
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