Only Twice as Much: A Rule for Regulating Lenders
Present-day policies aiming to improve the performance of credit markets, such as group lending or creation of collateral, typically aim to change incentives for borrowers. In contrast, premodern credit market interventions, such as usury laws, often targeted the behavior of lenders. We describe and analyze a norm that, although widespread, has escaped scholarly attention: a ceiling on interest accumulation, which limits it to the amount of the original principal. We interpret this rule, which is found in Hindu, Roman, and Chinese legal traditions, as giving lenders the incentive to find more capable borrowers, who will be able to repay early, thereby improving the allocation of capital. We document the consistency between our explanation and the rationale offered by the policy makers. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
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.
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.
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.:
- Manove, M. & Padilla, A.J., 1997.
"Banking (Conservatively) with Optimists,"
9718, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
- Michael Manove & A. Jorge Padilla & Marco Pagano, 1998.
"Collateral vs. Project Screening: A Model of Lazy Banks,"
CSEF Working Papers
10, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
- Manove, Michael & Padilla, Atilano Jorge & Pagano, Marco, 2000. "Collateral Vs. Project Screening: A Model Of Lazy Banks," CEPR Discussion Papers 2439, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Manove, M. & Padilla, A.J. & Pagano, M., 1998. "Collateral vs. Project Screening: a Model of Lazy Banks," Papers 9807, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
- Manove, Michael & Padilla, A Jorge & Pagano, Marco, 2001. "Collateral versus Project Screening: A Model of Lazy Banks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 726-744, Winter.
- Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, December.
- Carter, Michael R., 1988. "Equilibrium credit rationing of small farm agriculture," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 83-103, February.
- Kranton, Rachel E. & Swamy, Anand V., 1999. "The hazards of piecemeal reform: british civil courts and the credit market in colonial India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-24, February.
- Dercon, Stefan (ed.), 2004. "Insurance Against Poverty," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199276837, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:58:y:2010:i:4:p:775-803. 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: (Journals Division)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.