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A Test of Cultural Affinity in Home Mortgage Lending

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  • Raphael Bostic

Abstract

This paper assess cultural affinity as a potential explanation for observed racial disparities in mortgage rejection rates. Two formulations of the theory have evolved in the literature. The taste-based cultural affinity hypothesis asserts that lenders have a blanket preference for members of the same race, while the common bond hypothesis asserts that cultural affinity allows lenders to better assess the credit quality of members of the same race. The analysis involves tests that focus on the experiences of applicants with marginal credit quality, as the two theories offer conflicting predictions regarding their application patterns and treatment by lenders. The results of these tests provide weak support for the existence of taste-based cultural affinity, but contradict the predictions of the common bond form of the theory.
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Suggested Citation

  • Raphael Bostic, 2003. "A Test of Cultural Affinity in Home Mortgage Lending," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 23(2), pages 89-112, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jfsres:v:23:y:2003:i:2:p:89-112 DOI: 10.1023/A:1022852230803
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M & Longhofer, Stanley D, 1994. "Housing-Finance Intervention and Private Incentives: Helping Minorities and the Poor," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(3), pages 634-674, August.
    2. James J. Heckman, 1976. "Introduction to "Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4"," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Richard L. Peterson, 1981. "An Investigation of Sex Discrimination in Commercial Banks' Direct Consumer Lending," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 547-561, Autumn.
    4. 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.
    5. Glenn B. Canner & Dolores S. Smith, 1991. "Home Mortgage Disclosure Act: expanded data on residential lending," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Nov, pages 859-881.
    6. Hunter, William C & Walker, Mary Beth, 1996. "The Cultural Affinity Hypothesis and Mortgage Lending Decisions," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 57-70, July.
    7. Raphael W. Bostic & Glenn B. Canner, 1998. "Do minority-owned banks treat minorities better? an empirical test of the cultural affinity hypothesis," Proceedings 583, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    8. HAROLD Black & M. Collins & Ken Cyree, 1997. "Do Black-Owned Banks Discriminate against Black Borrowers?," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 11(1), pages 189-204, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thorsten Beck & Patrick Behr & Andre Guettler, 2013. "Gender and Banking: Are Women Better Loan Officers?," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 17(4), pages 1279-1321.
    2. Agier, Isabelle & Szafarz, Ariane, 2013. "Microfinance and Gender: Is There a Glass Ceiling on Loan Size?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 165-181.
    3. Labie, Marc & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume & Mersland, Roy & Szafarz, Ariane, 2015. "Discrimination by microcredit officers: Theory and evidence on disability in Uganda," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 44-55.
    4. Khalid Sekkat & Ariane Szafarz & Ilan Tojerow, 2015. "Women at the Top in Developing Countries: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," Working Papers CEB 15-048, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Ross, Stephen L. & Turner, Margery Austin & Godfrey, Erin & Smith, Robin R., 2008. "Mortgage lending in Chicago and Los Angeles: A paired testing study of the pre-application process," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 902-919, May.
    6. Stephen L. Ross, 2005. "The Continuing Practice and Impact of Discrimination," Working papers 2005-19, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2006.
    7. Gregory Price, 2008. "NEA Presidential Address: Black Economists of the World You Cite!!," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 1-12, March.
    8. Do, Chau & Gonzalez, Arturo, 2015. "Hispanic brokers and borrowers: The effect of language affinity on the price of home mortgages," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 77-86.
    9. Song Han, 2011. "Creditor Learning and Discrimination in Lending," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 40(1), pages 1-27, October.

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    Keywords

    cultural affinity; mortgages; discrimination.;

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