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Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Could/Should Jubilee Debt Cancellations be Reintroduced Today?

Author(s): Charles A E Goodhart and Michael Hudson

Publication Date: January 2018

Keyword(s): Babylonian and Byzantine Empires, Debt-Canceling Jubilees, Equity Participation, inequality, Land Tax and Student Loans

Programme Area(s): Economic History and Public Economics

Abstract: In this paper we recall the history of Jubilee debt cancellations, emphasizing what their social purpose was at that time. We note that it would not be possible to copy that procedure exactly nowadays, primarily because most debt/credit relationships are intermediated via financial institutions, such as banks, insurance companies, etc., rather than by governments or wealthy families directly. But we argue that the underlying social purpose of such Jubilees- to keep debt within the reasonable ability to be paid without social and economic polarisation - could be recreated via alternative mechanisms, and we discuss the politico-economic arguments for, and against, doing so

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Bibliographic Reference

Goodhart, C and Hudson, M. 2018. 'Could/Should Jubilee Debt Cancellations be Reintroduced Today?'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research. https://cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12605