Plantation Mortgage-Backed Securities: Evidence from Surinam in the 18th Century

40 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2020 Last revised: 29 Jul 2022

See all articles by Abe de Jong

Abe de Jong

Monash University; University of Groningen; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Tim Kooijmans

RMIT University

Peter Koudijs

Erasmus University Rotterdam

Date Written: May 25, 2022


In the second half of the 18th century, Dutch bankers channeled investors’ funds to sugar and coffee plantations in the Caribbean, Surinam in particular. Agency problems between plantation owners, bankers, and investors led to an arrangement called negotiaties. Bankers oversaw plantations’ cash-flows and placed mortgage-debt with investors. We demonstrate how this securitization arrangement worked using market-wide data and detailed records from banker F.W. Hudig. During the boom, debt contracts and their securitization were an effective solution for planters, bankers, and investors. However, the market crashed after an oversupply of credit. This led to inefficient restructuring due to debt overhang.

Keywords: Caribbean plantations, mortgage-backed securities, 18th century colonial investment, financial intermediation, negotiaties

JEL Classification: N23, N56, N83

Suggested Citation

de Jong, Abe and Kooijmans, Tim and Koudijs, Peter, Plantation Mortgage-Backed Securities: Evidence from Surinam in the 18th Century (May 25, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

Abe De Jong (Contact Author)

Monash University ( email )

900 Dandenong Rd
Room H3-56
Caulfield East, Victoria 3145

HOME PAGE: http://

University of Groningen ( email )

Postbus 72
9700 AB Groningen

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels

Tim Kooijmans

RMIT University ( email )

Level 12, 239 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria

Peter Koudijs

Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062PA


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