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Dark Matter Credit$
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Philip T. Hoffman, Gilles Postel-Vinay, and Jean-Laurent Rosenthal

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691182179

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691182179.001.0001

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Networks of Knowledge

Networks of Knowledge

(p.95) Chapter 4 Networks of Knowledge
Dark Matter Credit

Philip T. Hoffman

Gilles Postel-Vinay

Jean-Laurent Rosenthal

Princeton University Press

This chapter explains how, in the wake of the French Revolution's devastating inflation, local, peer-to-peer credit markets recuperated slowly. After such enormous losses, conditions for lending were hardly promising. Worse yet, one of the major revolutionary reforms that would eventually bolster credit markets—the Hypothèques registers created to record liens—took decades to take hold, particularly outside Paris. Yet despite these obstacles, credit markets did grow outside Paris and they did so substantially. By 1840, the stock of debt outside Paris exceeded its Old Regime peak. Clearly, the three decades between 1807 and 1840 was a time when notarial credit revived and expanded.

Keywords:   French Revolution, inflation, peer-to-peer credit, credit markets, lending, Paris, debt, Old Regime, notarial credit

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