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The Political Economy of the Subprime Mortgage Credit Expansion

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  • Mian, Atif
  • Sufi, Amir
  • Trebbi, Francesco

Abstract

We examine how special interests, measured by campaign contributions from the mortgage industry, and constituent interests, measured by the share of subprime borrowers in a congressional district, may have influenced U.S. government policy toward subprime mortgage credit expansion from 2002 to 2007. Beginning in 2002, mortgage industry campaign contributions increasingly targeted U.S. representatives from districts with a large fraction of subprime borrowers. During the expansion years, mortgage industry campaign contributions and the share of subprime borrowers in a congressional district increasingly predicted congressional voting behavior on housing related legislation. Such patterns do not hold for non-mortgage financial industry. The evidence suggests that both subprime mortgage lenders and subprime mortgage borrowers influenced government policy toward subprime mortgage credit expansion.

Suggested Citation

  • Mian, Atif & Sufi, Amir & Trebbi, Francesco, 2013. "The Political Economy of the Subprime Mortgage Credit Expansion," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 8(4), pages 373-408, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:jlqjps:100.00012036
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00012036
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Deniz Igan & Prachi Mishra & Thierry Tressel, 2012. "A Fistful of Dollars: Lobbying and the Financial Crisis," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 195-230.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sumit Agarwal & Gene Amromin & Itzhak Ben-David & Douglas D. Evanoff, 2016. "Loan Product Steering in Mortgage Markets," NBER Working Papers 22696, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Enrico Perotti & Marcel Vorage, 2010. "Bank Ownership and Financial Stability," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-022/2, Tinbergen Institute, revised 11 Sep 2010.
    3. Adelino, Manuel & Dinc, I. Serdar, 2014. "Corporate distress and lobbying: Evidence from the Stimulus Act," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 256-272.
    4. Deniz Igan & Prachi Mishra & Thierry Tressel, 2012. "A Fistful of Dollars: Lobbying and the Financial Crisis," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 195-230.
    5. Goodhart, Lucy, 2015. "Brave new world? Macro prudential policy and the new political economy of The Federal Reserve," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60952, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Clément Bellet, 2017. "Essays on Inequality, Social Preferences and Consumer Behavior," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/vbu6kd1s68o, Sciences Po.
    7. Lambert, Thomas, 2015. "Lobbying on Regulatory Enforcement Actions: Evidence from Banking," HIT-REFINED Working Paper Series 28, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    8. Clement Bellet, 2017. "The Paradox of the Joneses: Superstar Houses and Mortgage Frenzy in Suburban America," CEP Discussion Papers dp1462, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    9. Aggey Semenov & Hector Perez Saiz, 2014. "The Effect Of Campaign Contributions On State Banking Regulation And Bank Expansion In U.S," 2014 Meeting Papers 1265, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1168-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco & Japaridze, Irakli, 2017. "Trickle-down consumption, financial deregulation, inequality, and indebtedness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 1-26.
    12. Agarwal,Sumit & Morais,Bernardo & Ruiz Ortega,Claudia & Zhang,Jian, 2016. "The political economy of bank lending : evidence from an emerging market," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7577, The World Bank.
    13. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:4:p:1868-1897 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Ansell, Ben & Broz, Lawrence, 2015. "Global capital markets, housing prices, and partisan fiscal policies," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60930, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. Thomas Groll & Christopher J. Ellis, 2017. "Repeated Lobbying By Commercial Lobbyists And Special Interests," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1868-1897, October.
    16. James R. Barth & Apanard Penny Prabha & Wenling Lu, 2014. "Do Interest Groups Unduly Influence Bank Regulation?," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(4), pages 19-25, 01.
    17. Bellet, Clement, 2017. "The paradox of the Joneses: superstar houses andmortgage frenzy in suburban America," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 69044, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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