Forbearance by Contract: How Building and Loans Mitigated the Mortgage Crisis of the 1930s
During the Great Depression, Building and Loans (B&Ls), the leading home lenders, had a structure that mitigated the crisis. Borrowers were owners of the B&L and dissolution of the institution required a two-thirds majority vote. Using panel data from New Jersey in the 1930s, we find that this voting rule delayed dissolution by about one year. The year delay allowed one-fourth of the borrowers in the at-risk B&L to pay off their loans, but nonborrowers lost share value. The net loss was roughly -0.67 percent of the value of all New Jersey B&L assets in the mid-1930s.
We are very grateful for the comments and suggestions from participants at sessions on the paper at the World Congress of Cliometrics in 2013 and the NBER-DAE Summer Institute in 2015. Fishback and Snowden acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation (grant SES-1061927). Any opinions expressed here do reflect the attitude of the National Science Foundation nor of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Grant support for this project has come from the following grants. Some are past grants because we are using some data that was collected and digitized under prior projects.
“The Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Origins of Modern State Government Fiscal Policies.” National Science Foundation Grant SES-135744. $355,591 for three years. Collaborative with Theresa Gutberlet at Renssalaer Polytechnic Insitute for another $123,000.
“Institutional Performance and Change During Boom and Bust: The Residential Mortgage Market, 1920-1940.” National Science Foundation Grant SES-1061927. $304,300 for three years. Collaborative with Kenneth Snowden at University of North Carolina, Greensboro for another $150,000.
”The Dramatic Rise in Agricultural Productivity in the U.S During the Twentieth Century: Disentangling the Roles of Technological Change, Government Policy, and Climate.” With Paul Rhode at Michigan as co-PI, and Michael Haines at Colgate as a contractor. National Science Foundation. SES-0921732. $598,932.00, 2009-2012.
“Government, Housing, and the Changing Income Distribution During the Great Depression: A Dissaggregated and Microeconomic Approach.” National Science Foundation, SES 0617972 $410,087 with Alfonso Flores-Lagunes and Kei Hirano at University of Arizona. Collaborative with Shawn Kantor at UC Merced with another $150,000, 2006-2009.
“The Impact of the New Deal on Local Economic Development,” with William Horrace and Shawn Kantor. National Science Foundation No. SES 0214483, $392,798, July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2004, extended to June 30, 2006.
“The Impact of the New Deal on Local Economic Development,” with William Horrace and Shawn Kantor. National Science Foundation No. SES-0080324, $284,382, July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2002.
“The Impact of New Deal Relief Spending on Local Labor Markets,” with Shawn E. Kantor, National Science Foundation, SBR-9708098, $176,470, July 1, 1997 through June 30, 1999.
As far as I know, no one with whom I have worked or from whom I have received funding has a financial, ideological, or political stake in the research.
To be safe I will list all associations.
I have a Thomas R. Brown Professorship at the University of Arizona’s Economics Department. The professorship and resources provided by the Department help support my research.
I have received funds from the Koch Foundation to provide support for research on state governments’ responses to the Great Depression and the New Deal and to bring prominent economic historians to campus to give talks and interact with students.
I am the Executive Director of the Economic History Association and receive in-kind support to provide me with a course off and/or graduate support for my duties and for research.
I am a Fellow of the TIAA-CREF Institute.
I am a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research