Sabine Effosse

Economic Unions: a third sector of consumer credit in France

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

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This article sets out to question the singular experience of French Economic Unions in the consumer credit field. Formed by small retailers at the beginning of twentieth century, the Economic Unions offered sales credit by vouchers. If the voucher system was already used by the Parisian department stores since 1865, spread to the United Kingdom in 1880 and to Germany during the interwar period, the Economic Unions' singularity is based on their particular status. As the retailers contributed and pooled their own capital, they were founded as liabilities companies and set a third consumer credit sector between retailers credit and banking credit. Mainly based on the Bank of France archives, this article aims to understand why these Economic Unions spread during the first half of the twentieth century and how the consumer credit regulation passed in 1954 stopped their development.

Article first page

Article first page