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In Defence of Usury Laws

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  • David De Meza

    ()

  • Giuseppe Coco

Abstract

This paper shows that if moral hazard leads to credit rationing, an appropriate usury law must raise social welfare. Under market clearing, a usury law is always beneficial if funds are inelastically supplied. When entrepreneurial heterogeneity is introduced, an improvement arises even when the supply of funds is elastic. These results apply also in costly state-verification models and diversionary models of the credit market. Finally, a usury law proves useful in eliminating low-yielding projects when some entrepreneurs display excess optimism.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Financial Markets Group in its series FMG Discussion Papers with number dp369.

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Date of creation: Jan 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fmg:fmgdps:dp369

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Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/fmg/

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References

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  1. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
  2. Barro, Robert J, 1976. "The Loan Market, Collateral, and Rates of Interest," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 8(4), pages 439-56, November.
  3. Manove, Michael & Padilla, Atilano Jorge, 1998. "Banking (Conservatively) With Optimists," CEPR Discussion Papers 1918, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Coco, G., 1997. "Credit Rationing and the Welfare Gain from Usury Laws," Discussion Papers 9715, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  5. Peterson, Richard L, 1983. " Usury Laws and Consumer Credit: A Note," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1299-1304, September.
  6. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  7. Maurice B. Goudzwaard, 1968. "Price Ceilings And Credit Rationing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 23(1), pages 177-185, 03.
  8. Williamson, Stephen D., 1986. "Costly monitoring, financial intermediation, and equilibrium credit rationing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 159-179, September.
  9. Greer, Douglas F, 1974. "Rate Ceilings, Market Structure, and the Supply of Finance Company Personal Loans," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(5), pages 1363-82, December.
  10. John Moore & Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, . "Credit Cycles," Discussion Papers 1995-5, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  11. Avio, Kenneth L, 1974. "On the Effects of Statutory Interest Rate Ceilings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(5), pages 1383-95, December.
  12. De Meza, D. & Southey, C., 1995. "The Borrower's Curse: Optimism, Finance and Enterpreneurship," Discussion Papers 9502, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Michel Bellet, 2011. "Saint-Simonism and Utilitarianism : the history of a paradox. Bentham’s Defence of Usury under Saint-Amand Bazard’s Interpretation," Working Papers 1135, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  2. Michel Bellet, 2011. "Saint-Simonism and Utilitarianism: the history of a paradox. Bentham's Defence of Usury under Saint-Amand Bazard's Interpretation," Working Papers halshs-00654847, HAL.
  3. Murizah Osman Salleh & Aziz Jaafar & M. Shahid Ebrahim, 2011. "The Inhibition of Usury (Riba An-Nasi'ah) and the Economic Underdevelopment of the Muslim World," Working Papers 11002, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
  4. Arnold, Lutz G. & Reeder, Johannes & Trepl , Stefanie, 2010. "Single-Name Credit Risk, Portfolio Risk, and Credit Rationing," University of Regensburg Working Papers in Business, Economics and Management Information Systems 448, University of Regensburg, Department of Economics.
  5. Robert Mayer, 2013. "When and Why Usury Should be Prohibited," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 116(3), pages 513-527, September.

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