Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Bringing "Honest Capital" to Poor Borrowers: The Passage of the Uniform Small Loan Law, 1907-1930

Contents:

Author Info

  • Caruthers, Bruce G.

    (Northwestern University)

  • Guinnane, Timothy W.

    (Yale University)

  • Lee, Yoonseok

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

The Uniform Small Loan Law (USLL) was the Russell Sage Foundation's primary device for fighting what it viewed as the scourge of high-rate lending to poor people in the first half of the twentieth century. The USLL created a new class of lenders who could make small loans at interest rates exceeding those allowed for banks under the normal usury laws. About two-thirds of the states had passed the USLL by 1930. This paper describes the USLL and then uses econometric models to investigate the state characteristics that influenced the law's passage. We find that urbanization and state-level economic characteristics played significant roles. So did measures of the state's banking system. We find no evidence that party-political affiliations had any effect, which is consistent with the USLL's "progressive" character. Finally, we find little evidence that the passage of the USLL in one state made passage more likely in neighboring or similar states. If anything, the cross-state influences were negative. Our findings suggest that the Russell Sage Foundation only imperfectly understood the political economy of the USLL, and that a different overall approach might have produced a result closer to their aims.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://economics.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Working-Papers/wp000/ddp0063.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Yale University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 63.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecl:yaleco:63

Contact details of provider:
Postal: PO Box 8268, New Haven CT 06520-8268
Phone: (203) 432-3576
Fax: (203) 432-5779
Web page: http://www.econ.yale.edu/ddp/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Rolf Nugent, 1934. "Small Loan Debt in the United States," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7, pages 1.
  2. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
  3. Mahoney, Paul G, 2003. "The Origins of the Blue-Sky Laws: A Test of Competing Hypotheses," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(1), pages 229-51, April.
  4. Price V. Fishback & Shawn Everett Kantor, 1996. "The Political Economy of Workers' Compensation Benefit Levels, 1910-1930," NBER Historical Working Papers 0095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hugh Rockoff, 2003. "Prodigals and Projecture: An Economic History of Usury Laws in the United States from Colonial Times to 1900," NBER Working Papers 9742, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Hansen, Mary Eschelbach & Hansen, Bradley A., 2012. "Crisis and Bankruptcy: The Mediating Role of State Law, 1920–1932," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(02), pages 448-468, June.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:yaleco:63. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.