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The effect of credit scoring on small business lending in low- and moderate-income areas

  • W. Scott Frame
  • Michael Padhi
  • Lynn Woosley

This paper empirically examines the effect of the use of credit scoring by large banking organizations on small business lending in low- and moderate-income (LMI) areas. Using census tract level data for the southeastern United States, the authors estimate that credit scoring increases small business lending by $16.4 million per LMI area served. Furthermore, this effect is almost 2.5 times larger than that estimated for higher income census tracts ($6.8 million). The authors also find that credit scoring increases the probability that a large banking organization will make small business loans in a given census tract. The change in this probability is 3.8 percent for LMI areas and 1.7 percent for higher income areas. These findings suggest that credit scoring reduces asymmetric information problems for borrowers and lenders and that this is particularly important for LMI areas, which lenders may have historically bypassed because of their questionable economic health.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2001-6.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2001-6
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  1. Allen N. Berger & Gregory F. Udell, 1995. "Universal banking and the future of small business lending," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-21, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1994. " The Benefits of Lending Relationships: Evidence from Small Business Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-37, March.
  3. Loretta J. Mester, 1997. "What's the point of credit scoring?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Sep, pages 3-16.
  4. Berger, Allen N & Udell, Gregory F, 1995. "Relationship Lending and Lines of Credit in Small Firm Finance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(3), pages 351-81, July.
  5. Cole, Rebel A., 1998. "The importance of relationships to the availability of credit," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(6-8), pages 959-977, August.
  6. Rebel A. Cole & Lawrence G. Goldberg & Lawrence J. White, 1997. "Cookie-Cutter versus Character: The Micro Structure of Small Business Lending by Large and Small Banks," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 98-022, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
  7. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  8. McDonald, John F & Moffitt, Robert A, 1980. "The Uses of Tobit Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(2), pages 318-21, May.
  9. Frame, W Scott & Srinivasan, Aruna & Woosley, Lynn, 2001. "The Effect of Credit Scoring on Small-Business Lending," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(3), pages 813-25, August.
  10. Allen N. Berger & Anil K. Kashyap & Joseph M. Scalise, 1995. "The Transformation of the U.S. Banking Industry: What a Long, Strange Trips It's Been," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 55-218.
  11. Ron Feldman, 1997. "Small business loans, small banks and big change in technology called credit scoring," The Region, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sep, pages 19-25.
  12. W. Scott Frame, 1995. "Examining small business lending in bank antitrust analysis," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Mar, pages 31-40.
  13. Helen F. Ladd, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Mortgage Lending," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 41-62, Spring.
  14. Oliver E. Williamson, 1967. "The Economics of Defense Contracting: Incentives and Performance," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in Defense Economics, pages 217-278 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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