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Race and Subprime Loan Pricing


  • Ruben Hernandez


  • Michael Owyang


  • Andra Ghent


In this paper we investigate whether race and ethnicity influenced subprime loan pricing during 2005, the peak of the subprime mortgage expansion. We combine loan-level data on the performance of non-prime securitized mortgages with individual- and neighborhood-level data on racial and ethnic characteristics for metropolitan areas in California and Florida. Using a model of rate determination that accounts for predicted loan performance, we evaluate the presence of disparate impact and disparate treatment from race and ethnicity on rate-setting behavior across the most popular subprime mortgage products. In contrast with previous studies of the subprime market, we find evidence of adverse pricing effects for black and Hispanic borrowers.

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  • Ruben Hernandez & Michael Owyang & Andra Ghent, 2011. "Race and Subprime Loan Pricing," ERSA conference papers ersa11p923, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa11p923

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yuliya Demyanyk, 2009. "Quick exits of subprime mortgages," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 79-94.
    2. Andrew F. Haughwout & Christopher J. Mayer & Joseph Tracy, 2009. "Subprime mortgage pricing: the impact of race, ethnicity, and gender on the cost of borrowing," Staff Reports 368, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    3. 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.
    4. Ross, Stephen L. & Tootell, Geoffrey M. B., 2004. "Redlining, the Community Reinvestment Act, and private mortgage insurance," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 278-297, March.
    5. Helen F. Ladd, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Mortgage Lending," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 41-62, Spring.
    6. Lutz Kilian, 1998. "Small-Sample Confidence Intervals For Impulse Response Functions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 218-230, May.
    7. Christopher J. Mayer & Karen Pence, 2008. "Subprime Mortgages: What, Where, and to Whom?," NBER Working Papers 14083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andra C. Ghent & Rubén Hernández-Murillo & Michael T. Owyang, 2015. "Did Affordable Housing Legislation Contribute to the Subprime Securities Boom?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 43(4), pages 820-854, November.

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