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An Investigation of Sex Discrimination in Commercial Banks' Direct Consumer Lending

  • Richard L. Peterson
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    This article develops a model of prejudicial discrimination in the credit markets. Data on 30,000 commercial bank consumer loans were used to test the model. No. systematic pattern of prejudicial sex discrimination was found -- even before the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) was passed. Instead, banks as a whole behaved as profit maximizers, and made loans on equivalent terms to equally risky customers, regardless of sex. These findings suggest that future regulatory initiatives, such as proposed extensions of ECOA, should be thoroughly scrutinized whenever they impose substantial costs under the assumption that firms are not profit maximizers.

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    Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal Bell Journal of Economics.

    Volume (Year): 12 (1981)
    Issue (Month): 2 (Autumn)
    Pages: 547-561

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    Handle: RePEc:rje:bellje:v:12:y:1981:i:autumn:p:547-561
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