French Legislation and the Development of Credit Availability for Microenterprise
Global Journal of Business Research, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 123-137, 2008
Posted: 13 Feb 2010 Last revised: 7 Sep 2010
Date Written: 2008
The failures of the socialist model, evidenced by high unemployment, have led France to reorient itself towards more enterprise creation. These entrepreneurial ventures require financing. However, bankers do not want to assume the high risk of newly created enterprises. Moreover, small entrepreneurs who do manage to get financing may find themselves rationed at the margin if the rate of credit is capped by the legislature. Concurrently, the growth of microfinance in the world has shown that innovative techniques can increase credit availability, without unduly high risk. However, such increased credit availability may not materialize if credit rates are capped by usury laws, as it was in France. This paper traces out a number of legislative changes that took place in France in the last five years, focusing especially on usury laws and other barriers to credit. It places these legislative changes in a perspective of Western Europe’s socialist model, comparing legislation on credit and usury in a number of developed countries. It also examines if these legislative changes have been accompanied by the desired impact. Finally, it examines alternative future legislative evolution possibilities.
JEL Classification: D45, D53, E22, E4, G18, I38, K20, K29, N10, N20
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