The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Usury

  • Henry W. Spiegel
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_1371

Abstract

Usury, in the scholastic economic thought of the Middle Ages, referred to a lender’s intention to obtain more in return than the principal amount of the loan. As a general rule this meant that any interest-taking was usurious and forbidden, whereas in modern parlance only exorbitant interest is considered usurious. Usury was outlawed by lay and clerical authorities, who addressed the prohibition at first only to the clergy but expanded it later to lay persons as well and repeated it frequently and in strong terms.

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Bibliography

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry W. Spiegel
    • 1
  1. 1.