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Regression discontinuity estimates of the effects of the GSE act of 1992

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  • Neil Bhutta
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    Abstract

    In this paper I estimate the effect of the Underserved Areas Goal (UAG) established under the “GSE Act”, a 1992 law mandating that the housing government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac help promote credit access and homeownership opportunities for low-income households and in low-income and minority neighborhoods. I identify the goal’s impact by taking advantage of a discontinuity in the census tract eligibility rule. Employing local linear and non-parametric regression discontinuity methods, I find that this goal has had a direct effect on GSE purchasing activity of 3-4% and increases overall GSE-eligible originations by 2-3% on average at the cutoff between 1997 and 2002. Changing eligibility status following the release of Census 2000 data provides another source of variation to identify the UAG’s effect in 2005 and 2006, years of sharply increasing goals levels and years which have contributed heavily to current credit losses. I find that while the UAG affected GSE behavior in 2005 and 2006, GSE risk avoidance limited their response. Unlike previous research, I find no evidence that UAG-induced increases in GSE credit supply crowds-out FHA and subprime lending.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2009-03.

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    Date of creation: 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2009-03

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    Keywords: Mortgage loans ; Mortgages;

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    1. Quigley, John M., 2006. "Federal Credit and Insurance Programs: Housing," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt41d5k3bd, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
    2. Xudong An & Raphael W. Bostic, 2006. "Have the Affordable Housing Goals been a Shield against Subprime? Regulatory Incentives and the Extension of Mortgage Credit," Working Paper 8572, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
    3. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Working Papers 13039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Alicia H. Munnell, 1992. "Mortgage lending in Boston: interpreting HMDA data," Working Papers 92-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    5. Lang William W. & Nakamura Leonard I., 1993. "A Model of Redlining," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 223-234, March.
    6. Ambrose, Brent W. & Thibodeau, Thomas G., 2004. "Have the GSE affordable housing goals increased the supply of mortgage credit?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 263-273, May.
    7. Xudong An & Raphael Bostic, 2008. "GSE Activity, FHA Feedback, and Implications for the Efficacy of the Affordable Housing Goals," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 207-231, February.
    8. Roberto G. Quercia & George W. McCarthy & Susan M. Wachter, . "The Impacts of Affordable Lending Efforts on Home Ownership Rates," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 304, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
    9. Bostic, Raphael W. & Gabriel, Stuart A., 2006. "Do the GSEs matter to low-income housing markets? An assessment of the effects of the GSE loan purchase goals on California housing outcomes," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 458-475, May.
    10. Neil Bhutta, 2008. "Giving credit where credit is due? the Community Reinvestment Act and mortgage lending in lower-income neighborhoods," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-61, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    11. Robert B. Avery & Kenneth P. Brevoort & Glenn B. Canner, 2007. "Opportunities and Issues in Using HMDA Data," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 29(4), pages 351-380.
    12. Joseph Nichols & Anthony Pennington-Cross & Anthony Yezer, 2004. "Borrower Self-Selection, Underwriting Costs, and Subprime Mortgage Credit Supply," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 197-219, November.
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