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Discrimination in Lending: Theory and Evidence

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  • Song Han

Abstract

Using a general equilibrium model of credit market discrimination, I find that both taste-based discrimination and statistical discrimination have similar predictions for the intergroup differences in loan terms. The commonly held view has been that if taste-based discrimination exists, loans approved to minority borrowers will have higher expected profitability than those to majorities with comparable credit background. I show that the validity of this profitability view depends crucially on how expected loan profitability is measured. I also show that taste-based discrimination must exist if loans to minority borrowers have higher expected rates of return or lower expected rates of default loss than those to majorities with the same exogenous characteristics observed by lender at the time of loan originations. My analysis suggests that the valid method to test for taste-based discrimination should be reduced-form regressions. Empirically, I fail to find supporting evidence for the existence of taste-based discrimination.

Suggested Citation

  • Song Han, 2004. "Discrimination in Lending: Theory and Evidence," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 5-46, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrefec:v:29:y:2004:i:1:p:5-46
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    3. Rolando Gonzales & Gabriela Aguilera-Lizarazu & Andrea Rojas-Hosse & Patricia Aranda, 2016. "Preference for women but less preference for indigenous women: A lab-field experiment of loan discrimination in a developing economy," Working Papers PIERI 2016-24, PEP-PIERI.
    4. 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.
    5. Isabelle Agier & Ariane Szafarz, 2011. "Credit to Women Entrepreneurs: The Curse of the Trustworthier Sex," Working Papers CEB 11-005, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Dongyu Chen & Xiaolin Li & Fujun Lai, 2017. "Gender discrimination in online peer-to-peer credit lending: evidence from a lending platform in China," Electronic Commerce Research, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 553-583, December.
    7. Stephen L. Ross, 2005. "The Continuing Practice and Impact of Discrimination," Working papers 2005-19, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2006.
    8. Gutierrez Angelica S. & D’Mello Jason Francis, 2020. "Not All Entrepreneurs are Viewed Equally: A Social Dominance Theory Perspective on Access to Capital," Entrepreneurship Research Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-11, January.
    9. Beck, T.H.L. & Behr, P. & Madestam, A., 2011. "Sex and Credit : Is There a Gender Bias in Microfinance?," Other publications TiSEM ea5418eb-7e1e-475c-a70a-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    10. Stephen L. Ross, 2003. "What Is Known about Testing for Discrimination: Lessons Learned by Comparing across Different Markets," Working papers 2003-21, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2003.
    11. Darius Palia, 2016. "Differential Access to Capital from Financial Institutions by Minority Entrepreneurs," Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 13(4), pages 756-785, December.
    12. Thorsten Beck & Patrick Behr & Andreas Madestam, 2011. "Sex and Credit: Is There a Gender Bias in Lending?," Working Papers 411, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    13. Anastasia Cozarenco & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Women’s Access to Credit in France: How Microfinance Institutions Import Disparate Treatment from Banks," Working Papers CEB 13-037, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    14. Valentina Dimitrova-Grajzl & Peter Grajzl & A. Joseph Guse & Richard M. Todd & Michael Williams, 2018. "Neighborhood Racial Characteristics, Credit History, and Bankcard Credit in Indian Country," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 60(3), pages 410-441, September.
    15. Rolando Gonzales Martínez & Gabriela Aguilera‐Lizarazu & Andrea Rojas‐Hosse & Patricia Aranda Blanco, 2020. "The interaction effect of gender and ethnicity in loan approval: A Bayesian estimation with data from a laboratory field experiment," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 726-749, August.
    16. Hanan Morsy & Amira El-Shal & Andinet Woldemichael, 2019. "Working Paper 317 - Women Self-Selection out of the Credit Market in Africa," Working Paper Series 2443, African Development Bank.
    17. Beck, Thorsten & Behr, Patrick & Madestam, Andreas, 2018. "Sex and credit: Do gender interactions matter for credit market outcomes?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 380-396.
    18. Dongyu Chen & Xiaolin Li & Fujun Lai, 0. "Gender discrimination in online peer-to-peer credit lending: evidence from a lending platform in China," Electronic Commerce Research, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-31.
    19. 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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