Credit in Rural America
by Economic Research Service
Agricultural Economic Report No. (AER-749) 128 pp, April 1997
In response to a mandate in the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, this report provides information on the major financial institutions and Federal programs active in rural America, the performance of rural financial markets, and the costs and benefits of proposals to expand the lending authority of the Farm Credit System (FCS) and commercial bank access to FCS funds. After examining available data on agricultural, housing, small business, and community development loans, lenders, and programs, this report concludes that rural financial markets work reasonably well in serving the financial needs of these sectors of the rural economy. While localized financial market problems exist in some rural communities, and not all segments of the rural economy are equally well served, financial market failures are neither endemic to nor epidemic in rural America. Therefore, policies which provide untargeted subsidies to a broad range of rural lenders or borrowers such as those examined in this report are unlikely to be cost effective. While the proposals we examined to expand FCS lending authority and bank access to FCS funds would benefit their sponsors and some rural communities, they would do little to address rural credit market imperfections and, at the national level, their associated costs would outweigh their benefits.
Keywords: agricultural credit, rural credit, agricultural banks, Farm Credit System, Federal credit policy, economic development, rural development
In this publication...
Frontmatter (List of Abbreviations, Preface,Acknowledgments), Pdf file 20 kb
Executive Summary, Pdf file 29 kb
Introduction and Rural Lenders (pages 1-18), Pdf file 567 kb
Rural Financial Market Performance, FCS and Commercial Bank Rural Credit Proposals, Conclusions, and References (pages 19-34), Pdf file 579 kb
Appendix A: Sources of Rural Financial Capital, Pdf file 154 kb
Appendix B: Financial Markets for Agriculture, Housing, Business, and Development, Pdf file 141 kb
Appendix C: Proposals to Change Farm Credit System and Commercial Bank Authorities, Pdf file 112 kb
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