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Mortgages, immigrants and discrimination: An analysis of the interest rates in Spain


  • Diaz-Serrano, Luis
  • Raya, Josep M.


In this paper, we use a unique data set on granted mortgages to investigate whether immigrant and native borrowers are treated differently by lenders in the Spanish mortgage market. We observe that immigrant borrowers are charged substantially higher interest rates in their mortgages than their native counterparts. These differentials remain high and significant even after controlling for differences in creditworthiness and other factors. Further analyses based on the decomposition of the native–immigrant interest rate gap reveal that the differences in observable factors only account for 12% of the gap. The empirical evidence we find here suggests that these differentials are due to discrimination.

Suggested Citation

  • Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Raya, Josep M., 2014. "Mortgages, immigrants and discrimination: An analysis of the interest rates in Spain," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 22-32.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:45:y:2014:i:c:p:22-32 DOI: 10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2013.12.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. José García-Montalvo & Josep M. Raya, 2017. "Constraints on LTV as a Macroprudential Tool: A Precautionary Tale," Working Papers 1008, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    2. José Garcia Montalvo & Josep M. Raya, 2017. "Constraints on LTV as a macroprudential tool: a precautionary tale," Economics Working Papers 1592, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

    More about this item


    Discrimination; Immigration; Interest rate; Mortgage price differentials; Housing market; Mortgage market;

    JEL classification:

    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination


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