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Congressional influence as a determinant of subprime lending

Author

Listed:
  • Gabriel, Stuart A.
  • Kahn, Matthew E.
  • Vaughn, Ryan K.

Abstract

We apply unique loan level data from New Century Financial Corporation, a major subprime lender, to explore whether attributes and committee assignments of Congressional Representatives were associated with access to and pricing of subprime mortgage credit. Research findings indicate enhanced credit access at discounted prices among borrowers represented by Congressional leaders and by members of the House Financial Services Committee. Black borrowers in districts represented by Congressional leaders also were more likely to obtain subprime mortgage credit. We do not find evidence of adverse performance differentials among the politically directed loans. Our results conform to those of Agarwal et al. (2014) in documenting preferential treatment of constituents in congressional districts represented by members of the House Financial Services Committee. Research findings provide new insights into the political geography of the subprime crisis and suggest gains to trade between subprime lenders and targeted Congressional Representatives in the extension and pricing of subprime mortgage credit.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriel, Stuart A. & Kahn, Matthew E. & Vaughn, Ryan K., 2015. "Congressional influence as a determinant of subprime lending," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 91-102.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:28:y:2015:i:c:p:91-102
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhe.2015.01.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gabriel, Stuart A. & Rosenthal, Stuart S., 2005. "Homeownership in the 1980s and 1990s: aggregate trends and racial gaps," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 101-127, January.
    2. Stephen Ansolabehere & John M. de Figueiredo & James M. Snyder Jr, 2003. "Why is There so Little Money in U.S. Politics?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 105-130, Winter.
    3. Agarwal, Sumit & Amromin, Gene & Ben-David, Itzhak & Chomsisengphet, Souphala & Evanoff, Douglas D., 2014. "Predatory lending and the subprime crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 29-52.
    4. Stephen Ansolabehere & John M. de Figueiredo & James M. Snyder, 2003. "Why Is There So Little Money in Politics?," NBER Working Papers 9409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Kroszner, Randall S & Stratmann, Thomas, 2005. "Corporate Campaign Contributions, Repeat Giving, and the Rewards to Legislator Reputation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 41-71, April.
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    7. Bombardini, Matilde & Trebbi, Francesco, 2011. "Votes or money? Theory and evidence from the US Congress," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 587-611, August.
    8. Deng, Yongheng & Gabriel, Stuart, 2006. "Risk-Based Pricing and the Enhancement of Mortgage Credit Availability among Underserved and Higher Credit-Risk Populations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(6), pages 1431-1460, September.
    9. 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.
    10. Christopher J. Mayer & Karen Pence, 2008. "Subprime Mortgages: What, Where, and to Whom?," NBER Working Papers 14083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Stratmann, Thomas, 2002. "Can Special Interests Buy Congressional Votes? Evidence from Financial Services Legislation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 345-373, October.
    12. Christopher J. Mayer & Karen M. Pence, 2008. "Subprime mortgages: what, where, and to whom?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
    13. Bronars, Stephen G & Lott, John R, Jr, 1997. "Do Campaign Donations Alter How a Politician Votes? Or, Do Donors Support Candidates Who Value the Same Things That They Do?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(2), pages 317-350, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subprime crisis; Political influence; Mortgage contract terms; Borrower characteristics;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General

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