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In defense of usury laws

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Usury law is often criticized by economists for curtailing lending and thus creating deadweight costs. This paper shows that if moral hazard leads to credit rationing, a just-binding usury law creates a deadweight gain. This property also holds in most market-clearing equilibria. Independent of social insurance benefits, or curbing present-biased preferences, interest rate caps have merit.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/36071/

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