Research Summary

The Politics of Consumer Credit

by J. Gunnar Trumbull


A combination of factors has dramatically increased consumer access to and reliance upon credit across the OECD. These factors include financial liberalization and deregulation, improvements in consumer credit information and its analysis, and a growth in debt securitization. Yet this period of unprecedented credit access has coincided with a decline in average real wages. National governments have responded by enacting new regulations governing consumer bankruptcy, financial data privacy, consumer advocacy, and interest rate caps. This project traces the politics of consumer credit regulation in France, Germany and Britain during the postwar period.