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The Federal Response to Home Mortgage Distress: Lessons from the Great Depression (ICPSR 22682) RSS

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Summary:

This article examines the federal response to mortgage distress during the Great Depression. It documents features of the housing cycle of the 1920s and early 1930s, focusing on the growth of mortgage debt and the subsequent sharp increase in mortgage defaults and foreclosures during the Depression. It summarizes the major federal initiatives to reduce foreclosures and reform mortgage market practices, focusing especially on the activities of the Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC), which acquired and refinanced one million delinquent mortgages between 1933 and 1936. Because the conditions under which the HOLC operated were unusual, the author cautions against drawing strong policy lessons from the HOLC's activities. Nonetheless, similarities between the Great Depression and the recent episode suggest that a review of the historical experience can provide insights about alternative policies to relieve mortgage distress.

Access Notes

  • These data are flagged as replication datasets and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigator(s) if further information is desired.

  • These data are freely available.

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Study Description

Citation

Wheelock, David C. The Federal Response to Home Mortgage Distress: Lessons from the Great Depression. ICPSR22682-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-06-09. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR22682.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Research Division

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   debt, depression (economic), economic change, economic conditions, economic crises, economic growth, economic history, economic policy, economic reform, federal housing programs, Great Depression (1929), home owners, home ownership, housing costs, mortgages

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Data Collection Notes:

The data are distributed as a Microsoft Excel file, which contains the data and tables used in the publication.

These data are part of ICPSR's Publication-Related Archive and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigators if further information is desired.

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