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Mortgage Lending and American Urbanization, 1880–1890

Kenneth Snowden ()

The Journal of Economic History, 1988, vol. 48, issue 2, 273-285

Abstract: The connection between the spatial pattern of the urban growth spurt of the 1880s and the mortgage market is an aspect of the familiar capital market segmentation hypothesis that has received little attention. Although mortgage lending expanded most rapidly in the smaller western cities during the decade, I conclude that an underlying pattern of segmentation impeded urbanization in these areas at least until 1890. The initial advantage that segmentation conferred on borrowers in the East was reduced to some extent by binding usury ceilings along the Atlantic seaboard.

Date: 1988
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