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Small business loan turndowns, personal wealth and discrimination

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  • Ken Cavalluzzo
  • John D. Wolken

Abstract

Using newly available data from the Federal Reserve, we examine the impact of personal wealth on small business loan turndowns across demographic groups. Information on home ownership, home equity, and personal net worth excluding the business owner's home, in combination with data on the personal credit history of the principal owner, the business credit history of the firm, a rich set of additional explanatory variables, and information on the competitiveness of local banking markets, contributes to our understanding of the credit market experiences of small businesses across demographic groups. We find substantial unexplained differences in denial rates between African American-, Hispanic-, Asian-, and white-owned firms. We also find that greater personal wealth is associated with a lower probability of loan denial. However, even after controlling for personal wealth, large differences in denial rates across demographic groups remain. Further, consistent with Becker's classic theories (1957), we find some evidence that African American-denial rates increase with lender market concentration.

Suggested Citation

  • Ken Cavalluzzo & John D. Wolken, 2002. "Small business loan turndowns, personal wealth and discrimination," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2002-35
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Avery, Robert B. & Bostic, Raphael W. & Samolyk, Katherine A., 1998. "The role of personal wealth in small business finance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(6-8), pages 1019-1061, August.
    2. Fairlie, Robert W, 1999. "The Absence of the African-American Owned Business: An Analysis of the Dynamics of Self-Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 80-108, January.
    3. David G. Blanchflower & Phillip B. Levine & David J. Zimmerman, 2003. "Discrimination in the Small-Business Credit Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 930-943, November.
    4. Ken S. Cavalluzzo, 2002. "Competition, Small Business Financing, and Discrimination: Evidence from a New Survey," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(4), pages 641-680, October.
    5. Cavalluzzo, Ken S & Cavalluzzo, Linda C, 1998. "Market Structure and Discrimination: The Case of Small Businesses," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(4), pages 771-792, November.
    6. Robert B. Avery, 1999. "Access to credit for minority-owned businesses," Proceedings 759, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    7. White, Halbert, 1982. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Misspecified Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 1-25, January.
    8. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    9. Ken Cavalluzzo & Linda Cavalluzzo & John D. Wolken, 1999. "Competition, small business financing, and discrimination: evidence from a new survey," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-25, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. 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.
    11. Timothy Bates, 1999. "Available evidence indicates that black-owned firms are often denied equal access to credit," Proceedings 758, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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    Keywords

    Small business ; Discrimination in mortgage loans;

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