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Human Worth as Collateral

44 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2006  

Rashmi Dyal-Chand

Northeastern University - School of Law

Date Written: October 2006


Human worth has taken on a surprising new role: that of market asset. Specifically, lenders in radically different contexts are using their borrowers' human worth as collateral in loan transactions. The two examples of this new collateralization that I examine are credit card lending in the United States and microlending programs in the Third World. I conclude that the use of human worth in these two contexts is too similar to be coincidental. Rather, this new collateralization is a product of globalization. For those interested in the effect of law on globalization, this convergence in the market for credit teaches important lessons. In both the contexts I examine, the laws governing secured and unsecured lending fail to recognize human worth as collateral. For this reason, the new collateralization serves as a counter-example to the claimed centrality of the rule of law in economic development.

Suggested Citation

Dyal-Chand, Rashmi, Human Worth as Collateral (October 2006). Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 09-2006. Available at SSRN: or

Rashmi Dyal-Chand (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - School of Law ( email )

416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

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