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Mortgage Rates and American Capital Market Development in the Late Nineteenth Century

Kenneth Snowden ()

The Journal of Economic History, 1987, vol. 47, issue 3, 671-691

Abstract: Substantial regional differentials in mortgage rates persisted throughout the postbellum period. I find that these differentials reflected not only variations in lending risk, but also the costs incurred in transferring funds between markets and unexplained regional premia. The results are consistent with the traditional interpretation that capital markets were at least partially segmented throughout the late nineteenth century. The effects on home and farm mortgage rates in the South and West were substantial and suggest that market segmentation could have had a substantial impact on the regional pattern of urbanization as well as agricultural development.

Date: 1987
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