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A Structural Econometric Model of Price Discrimination in the Mortgage Lending Industry

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  • Robert Gary-Bobo
  • Sophie Larribeau

Abstract

We propose a model of discrimination in the market for mortgages. The model explains accepted loan applications and determines loan sizes and interest rates simultaneously. A competitive, and a discriminating monopoly version of the model are proposed. Offered interest rates and loan sizes are a function of observable borrower characteristics. The competitive model rests on a marginal condition, re°ecting contract optimality, to which a zero-profit condition is added. In contrast, the discriminating monopoly maximizes profitsunder a borrower participation constraint, reflecting the availability of a rental market as an outside option. Each version of the model is a bivariate, nonlinear model, and is estimated by standard maximum likelihood methods. The data used for estimation is a sample of clients of a French network of mortgage lenders. We show the presence of "social discrimination" in the data, the loan conditions depending, not only on the borrower's wage and downpayment, but also on the borrower's occupational status. Abnormally high risk premia in the competitive version of the model suggest the presence of market power, justifying an attempt at estimating its monopolistic version. The discriminating monopoly model estimates show that the borrowers' price-elasticity of demand for housing varies with occupational status, and is inversely related with the lender's interest rate markups. This confirms that the lender exploits structural differences in the preferences to discriminate, as predicted by standard theories.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2002/wp-cesifo-2002-06/739.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 739.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_739

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Keywords: mortgage loans; price discrimination; discriminating monopoly.;

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  1. Helen F. Ladd, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Mortgage Lending," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 41-62, Spring.
  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.
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  4. Brueckner Jan K., 1994. "Borrower Mobility, Adverse Selection, and Mortgage Points," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 416-441, September.
  5. Armstrong, Mark, 1999. "Price Discrimination by a Many-Product Firm," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 151-68, January.
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  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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  15. James A. Berkovec & Glenn B. Canner & Stuart A. Gabriel & Timothy H. Hannan, 1998. "Discrimination, Competition, And Loan Performance In Fha Mortgage Lending," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 241-250, May.
  16. Marc IVALDI & David MARTIMORT, 1994. "Competition under Nonlinear Pricing," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 34, pages 71-114.
  17. Calem Paul & Stutzer Michael, 1995. "The Simple Analytics of Observed Discrimination in Credit Markets," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 189-212, July.
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  19. Chari, V V & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1989. " Adverse Selection in a Model of Real Estate Lending," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(2), pages 499-508, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hans Degryse & Steven Ongena, 2002. "Distance, Lending Relationships, and Competition," CSEF Working Papers 80, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  2. Gary-Bobo, Robert J. & Larribeau, Sophie, 2003. "The Bank's Market Power and the Interest Rate Elasticity of Demand for Housing: An Econometric Study of Discrimination on French Mortgage Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 3745, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Michiel van Leuvensteijn & Wolter Hassink, 2003. "Price-setting and price dispersion in the Dutch mortgage market," CPB Discussion Paper 21, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

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