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Other Things Being Equal: A Paired Testing Study of Discrimination in Mortgage Lending


  • Margery Austin Turner

    (Urban Institute)

  • Erin Godfrey

    (New York University)

  • Stephen L. Ross

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Robin R. Smith

    (Urban Institute)


This article summarizes a recently completed study, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and conducted by the Urban Institute, of discrimination against black and Hispanic homebuyers when they visit mortgage lending institutions in two major metropolitan markets to make pre-application inquiries. It represents the first application of paired testing to rigorously measure discrimination in the mortgage lending process. The paired tests disclosed significant levels of adverse treatment on the basis of race and ethnicity, with African Americans and Hispanics receiving less information and assistance than comparable whites, even at this very early stage in the application process.

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  • Margery Austin Turner & Erin Godfrey & Stephen L. Ross & Robin R. Smith, 2003. "Other Things Being Equal: A Paired Testing Study of Discrimination in Mortgage Lending," Working papers 2003-09, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised May 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2003-09

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen L. Ross & John Yinger, 2002. "The Color of Credit: Mortgage Discrimination, Research Methodology, and Fair-Lending Enforcement," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182289, July.
    2. Munnell, Alicia H. & Geoffrey M. B. Tootell & Lynn E. Browne & James McEneaney, 1996. "Mortgage Lending in Boston: Interpreting HMDA Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 25-53, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhao, Bo & Ondrich, Jan & Yinger, John, 2006. "Why do real estate brokers continue to discriminate? Evidence from the 2000 Housing Discrimination Study," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 394-419, May.
    2. Lloyd Blanchard & Bo Zhao & John Yinger, 2005. "Do Credit Market Barriers Exist for Minority and Women Entrepreneurs?," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 74, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

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