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Principal Investigator(s): Wheelock, David C., Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
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.
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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
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR22682.v1
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.
Original ICPSR Release: 2008-06-09
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