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The Political Economy of the US Mortgage Default Crisis

Author

Listed:
  • Atif Mian
  • Amir Sufi
  • Francesco Trebbi

Abstract

We examine the effects of constituents, special interests, and ideology on congressional voting on two of the most significant pieces of legislation in US economic history. Representatives whose constituents experience a sharp increase in mortgage defaults are more likely to support the Foreclosure Prevention Act, especially in competitive districts. Interestingly, representatives are more sensitive to defaults of their own-party constituents. Special interests in the form ofhigher campaign contributions from the financial industry increase the likelihood of supporting the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. However, ideologically conservative representatives are less responsive to both constituent and special interests. (JEL D72, G21, G28)

Suggested Citation

  • Atif Mian & Amir Sufi & Francesco Trebbi, 2010. "The Political Economy of the US Mortgage Default Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 1967-1998, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:5:p:1967-98
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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