The Thrift Industry and the Community Reinvestment Act: Assessing the Cost of Social Responsibility
A stochastic frontier cost function indicates that the annual cost of complying with the anti-redlining Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is $171,000 per thrift institution, roughly 2.3 percent of variable costs. But compliance cost is significantly less than the estimated 21 percent cost inefficiency. Based on published estimates of the incremental number of mortgage loans induced by CRA, the marginal cost is $38,000 per loan. The regulations whose compliance cost is estimated apply to about 80 percent of all U.S. banks.
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