IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Pour en finir avec l'usure. L'enjeu de la controverse entre Adam Smith et Jeremy Bentham

Listed author(s):
  • Sandrine Leloup
Registered author(s):

    [fre] Cet article se propose de revenir sur la controverse entre Smith et Bentham à propos de la nécessité du maintien des lois sur l'usure. À la différence des interprétations traditionnelles qui en fournissent une explication purement économique, il s'agit de comprendre cette divergence à partir de la psychologie des acteurs qui interviennent sur le marché du crédit. Smith et Bentham décrivent en effet, de manière radicalement différente, les mécanismes psychologiques qui poussent ces acteurs à agir - et ce, bien qu'ils emploient des terminologies identiques pour les désigner ; ils ne peuvent donc se comprendre (partie I). En mettant ainsi l'accent sur la spécificité des hypothèses psychologiques retenues par chacun des auteurs, on met en évidence une autre spécificité qui concerne le déroulement des interactions marchandes entre les acteurs du marché du crédit (partie II). On conclut alors que ni le maintien des lois sur l'usure pour Smith, ni leur abolition pour Bentham ne constituent une solution définitive au problème de la coordination entre le prêteur et l'emprunteur. [eng] Smith and Bentham on usury laws: the terms of the debate This article deals with the controversy between Smith and Bentham on usury laws. Unlike traditional interpretations that provide strictly economic explanations, it is argued that the differences between the two authors rest on a divergence concerning the psychology of the actors involved in the credit market. Although Smith and Bentham used the same words to point them out these psychological mechanisms, they described them quite differently, so that the debate could hardly make sense (pan I). Emphasising the specificity of each author's psychological hypothesis, an other specificity, concerning trading interactions between actors on the market of credit is brought to the fore (part II). Therefore, I conclude that neither the upholding of usury laws - for Smith -, nor their abolition - for Bentham -, give a final solution to the problem of coordination between lender and borrower.

    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:
    Download Restriction: Data and metadata provided by Persée are licensed under a Creative Commons "Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0" License

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Data and metadata provided by Persée are licensed under a Creative Commons "Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0" License

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue économique.

    Volume (Year): 51 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 913-936

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:prs:reveco:reco_0035-2764_2000_num_51_4_410561
    Note: DOI:10.3406/reco.2000.410561
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

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

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:prs:reveco:reco_0035-2764_2000_num_51_4_410561. 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: (Equipe PERSEE)

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.