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The Catalan case in south-western Europe offers us the opportunity to take a detailed look at the impact a lowering of the interest rate may have had on the poor of a specific area. It is vital to examine how property rights operated in specific contexts, given the close relationship between land and credit markets. Our working hypothesis is that, in some instances where property rights were redefined, as happened in eighteenth-century Catalonia, the reduction of the interest rate in secured loans benefitted the poorer social groups. The findings of this research, in line with those of some development economists, suggest that only an empirical and bottom-up perspective allows for a proper analysis of the eradication of poverty by placing it within the real picture of social change.