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, pre-modern credit market interventions, such as usury laws, often targeted the behavior of lenders. We describe and model a norm which, though widespread, has escaped scholarly attention: a stipulation that accumulated interest cannot exceed the original principal, irrespective of how much time has elapsed. 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 policy-makers.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Economic Development and Cultural Change, July 2010, v. 58, iss. 4, pp. 775-803.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: 413 597 2476
Fax: 413 597 4045
Web page: http://econ.williams.edu
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Email: |
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.:
- Michael Manove & A. Jorge Padilla, 1999.
"Banking (Conservatively) with Optimists,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 324-350, Summer.
- 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.
- 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, 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, 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, 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 726-44, Winter.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wil:wilcde:2007-03. 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: (Stephen Sheppard)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.