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On the Economics of Subprime Lending

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  • Amy Cutts

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  • Robert Order

    ()

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    Abstract

    US mortgage markets have evolved radically in recent years. An important part of the change has been the rise of the “subprime” market, characterized by loans with high default rates, dominance by specialized subprime lenders rather than full-service lenders, and little coverage by the secondary mortgage market. In this paper, we examine these and other “stylized facts” with standard tools used by financial economists to describe market structure in other contexts. We use three models to examine market structure: an option-based approach to mortgage pricing in which we argue that subprime options are different from prime options, causing different contracts and prices; and two models based on asymmetric information–one with asymmetry between borrowers and lenders, and one with the asymmetry between lenders and the secondary market. In both of the asymmetric-information models, investors set up incentives for borrowers or loan sellers to reveal information, primarily through costs of rejection. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2004

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 2 (November)
    Pages: 167-196

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jrefec:v:30:y:2004:i:2:p:167-196

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102945

    Related research

    Keywords: asymmetric information; licensing; option-pricing; secondary market; signaling; subprime mortgage market;

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    1. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
    2. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
    3. Paul Bennett & Richard Peach & Stavros Peristiani, 2000. "Implied Mortgage Refinancing Thresholds," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 28(3), pages 405-434.
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    5. Marsha J. Courchane & Brian J. Surette & Peter M. Zorn, 2004. "Subprime Borrowers: Mortgage Transitions and Outcomes," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 365-392, December.
    6. Ben-Shahar, Danny & Feldman, David, 2003. "Signaling-Screening Equilibrium in the Mortgage Market," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2-3), pages 157-78, March-May.
    7. Byrne,Joseph P. & Davis,E. Philip, 2003. "Financial Structure," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521831802.
    8. Yongheng Deng & John M. Quigley & Robert Van Order, . "Mortgage Terminations, Heterogeneity and the Exercise of Mortgage Options," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 322, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
    9. Brueckner, Jan K, 2000. "Mortgage Default with Asymmetric Information," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 251-74, May.
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    14. David M. Harrison & Thomas G. Noordewier & Abdullah Yavas, 2004. "Do Riskier Borrowers Borrow More?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 32(3), pages 385-411, 09.
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    16. Anthony M.J. Yezer & Robert F. Phillips & Robert P. Trost, 1994. "Bias in estimates of discrimination and default in mortgage lending: the effects of simultaneity and self-selection," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, pages 197-222.
    17. Chan, Yuk-Shee & Leland, Hayne, 1982. "Prices and Qualities in Markets with Costly Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 499-516, October.
    18. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
    19. Stefan Krasa & Anne P. Villamil, 2000. "Optimal Contracts when Enforcement Is a Decision Variable," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 119-134, January.
    20. Brent W. Ambrose & Michael LaCour-Little, 2001. "Prepayment Risk in Adjustable Rate Mortgages Subject to Initial Year Discounts: Some New Evidence," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 29(2), pages 305-327.
    21. Wayne R. Archer & Peter J. Elmer & David M. Harrison & David C. Ling, 2002. "Determinants of Multifamily Mortgage Default," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 30(3), pages 445-473.
    22. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
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