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Redlining, the Community Reinvestment Act, and private mortgage insurance

  • Ross, Stephen L.
  • Tootell, Geoffrey M. B.

This paper examines whether neighborhood racial or income composition influences a lender's treatment of mortgage applications. Recent studies have found little evidence of differential treatment based on either the racial or income composition of the neighborhood, once the specification accounts for neighborhood risk factors. This paper suggests that lenders may favor applicants from CRA-protected neighborhoods if they obtain Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and that this behavior may mask lender redlining of low income and minority neighborhoods. For loan applicants who are not covered by PMI, this paper finds strong evidence that applications for units in low-income neighborhoods are less likely to be approved, and some evidence that applications for units in minority neighborhoods are less likey to be approved, regardless of the race of the applicant. This pattern is not visible in earlier studies because lenders appear to treat applications from these neighborhoods more favorably when the applicant obtains PMI.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 55 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 278-297

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:55:y:2004:i:2:p:278-297
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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  1. Holmes, Andrew & Horvitz, Paul, 1994. " Mortgage Redlining: Race, Risk, and Demand," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 81-99, March.
  2. Munnell, Alicia H. & Geoffrey M. B. Tootell & Lynn E. Browne & James McEneaney, 1996. "Mortgage Lending in Boston: Interpreting HMDA Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 25-53, March.
  3. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1974. "Multivariate Regression and Simultaneous Equation Models when the Dependent Variables Are Truncated Normal," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(6), pages 999-1012, November.
  4. Brock, William A & Durlauf, Steven N, 2001. "Discrete Choice with Social Interactions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 235-60, April.
  5. Geoffrey M. Tootell, 1996. "Redlining in Boston: do mortgage lenders discriminate against neighborhoods?," Working Papers 96-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  6. Boyes, William J. & Hoffman, Dennis L. & Low, Stuart A., 1989. "An econometric analysis of the bank credit scoring problem," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 3-14, January.
  7. David G. Blanchflower & Phillip B. Levine & David J. Zimmerman, 1998. "Discrimination in the Small Business Credit Market," NBER Working Papers 6840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Michael H. Schill & Susan M. Wachter, . "A Tale of Two Cities: Racial and Ethnic Geographic Disparities in Home Mortgage Lending in Boston and Philadelphia," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 16-93, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  9. Michael H. Schill & Susan M. Wachter, 1994. "Borrower and neighborhood racial and income characteristics and financial institution mortgage application screening," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, pages 223-243.
  10. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  11. Cavalluzzo, Ken S & Cavalluzzo, Linda C, 1998. "Market Structure and Discrimination: The Case of Small Businesses," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(4), pages 771-92, November.
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