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Dark Matter Credit - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Dark Matter Credit

Philip T. Hoffman, Gilles Postel-Vinay, and Jean-Laurent Rosenthal


Prevailing wisdom dictates that without banks countries would be mired in poverty. Yet somehow much of Europe managed to grow rich long before the diffusion of banks. This book draws on centuries of loan data from France to reveal how credit abounded well before banks opened their doors. The book shows how a vast system of shadow credit enabled nearly a third of French families to borrow in 1740, and by 1840 funded as much mortgage debt as the American banking system of the 1950s. The book traces how this extensive private network outcompeted banks and thrived prior to World War I—not just in ... More

Keywords: credit, banks, shadow credit, private network, economic growth, peer-to-peer loans, French economic history

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780691182179
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691182179.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Philip T. Hoffman, author
Yale University

Gilles Postel-Vinay, author
Paris School of Economics

Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, author