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Credit Rationing and Crowding-Out During the Industrial Revolution: Evidence from Hoare's Bank, 1702-1862

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  • Temin, Peter
  • Voth, Hans-Joachim

Abstract

Crowding-out during the British Industrial Revolution has long been one of the leading explanations for slow growth during the Industrial Revolution, but little empirical evidence exists to support it. We argue that examinations of interest rates are fundamentally misguided, and that the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century private loan market balanced through quantity rationing. Over 90% of all loans were made at the maximum permissible lending rate, as set by the usury rate. Hence, earlier investigations such as the one by Mirowski et al. could not undertake a valid examination of the crowding-out hypothesis. Using a unique set of observations on lending volume at a London goldsmith bank, Hoare’s, we document the impact of wartime financing on private credit markets. Whenever public borrowing rose above trend, private lending declined markedly. We conclude that there is considerable evidence that government borrowing, especially during wartime, crowded out private credit, and that the magnitude of the effect is important enough to explain at least partly why British growth during the period 1750-1850 was relatively slow.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4453.

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Date of creation: Jun 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4453

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Keywords: british industrial revolution; credit rationing; crowding-out; finance; growth;

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  1. Harley, C. Knick & Crafts, N.F.R., 2000. "Simulating the Two Views of the British Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(03), pages 819-841, September.
  2. Ross Levine & Sara Zervos, . "Stock markets, banks and economic growth ," CERF Discussion Paper Series 95-11, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  3. Quinn, Stephen, 1997. "Goldsmith-Banking: Mutual Acceptance and Interbanker Clearing in Restoration London," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 411-432, October.
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  7. Peter Temin & Joachim Voth, 2004. "Riding the South Sea bubble," Economics Working Papers 861, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  8. Jaffee, Dwight & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1990. "Credit rationing," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 837-888 Elsevier.
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  12. Temin, Peter & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2006. "Banking as an emerging technology: Hoare's Bank, 1702 1742," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 149-178, October.
  13. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, . "Financial Dependence and Growth," CRSP working papers 344, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
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  16. Mirowski, Philip, 1981. "The Rise (and Retreat) of a Market: English Joint Stock Shares in the Eighteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(03), pages 559-577, September.
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  22. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1987. "Has Crowding Out Really Been Given a Fair Test? A Comment," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 214-216, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Joachim Voth & Mauricio Drelichman, 2008. "Debt sustainability in historical perspective: The role of fiscal repression," Economics Working Papers 1184, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Efraim Benmelech & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 2007. "The Political Economy of Financial Regulation: Evidence from U.S. State Usury Laws in the 19th Century," NBER Working Papers 12851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Maria Alejandra Irigoin & Regina Grafe, 2012. "Bounded Leviathan: or why North and Weingast are only right on the right half," Economic History Working Papers 44492, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  4. Kiril Danailov Kossev, 2008. "The Banking Sector and the Great Depression in Bulgaria, 1924 - 1938: Interlocking and Financial Sector Profitability," Working Papers 76, Bank of Greece.
  5. David R Stead, . "Fixed Rent Contracts in English Agriculture, 1750-1850: A Conjecture," Discussion Papers 05/01, Department of Economics, University of York.

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