IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Some Loans Are More Equal than Others: Third-Party Originations and Defaults in the Subprime Mortgage Industry

Listed author(s):
  • William P. Alexander
  • Scott D. Grimshaw
  • Grant R. McQueen
  • Barrett A. Slade
Registered author(s):

    We show how agency problems between lenders (principals) and third-party originators (TPO; agents) imply that TPO-originated loans are more likely to default than similar retail-originated loans. The nature of the agency problem is that TPOs are compensated for writing loans, but are not completely held accountable for the subsequent performance of those loans. Using a hazard model with jointly estimated competing risks and unobserved heterogeneity, we find empirical support for the TPO/default prediction using individual fixed-rate subprime loans with first liens secured by residential real estate originated between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 1998. We find that apparently equal loans (similar ability to pay, option incentives and term) can have unequal default probabilities. We also find that, initially, the agency-cost risk was not priced. At first, the market did not recognize the higher channel risk, since TPO and retail loans received similar interest rates even though the TPO loans were more likely to default. We also show that this inefficiency was short-lived. As the difference in default rates became apparent, interest rates on TPO loans rose about 50 basis points above otherwise similar retail loans. Copyright 2002 American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association in its journal Real Estate Economics.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 667-697

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:30:y:2002:i:4:p:667-697
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, 1309 East Tenth Street, Suite 738, Bloomington, Indiana 47405

    Phone: (812) 855-7794
    Fax: (812) 855-8679
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:30:y:2002:i:4:p:667-697. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

    or (Christopher F. Baum)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.