Race, redlining, and residential mortgage loan performance


Theories of discrimination in credit markets suggest that under certain circumstances systematic lender bias may result in creditors holding minority applicants or applicants from minority neighborhoods to higher standards of creditworthiness than other borrowers. This implies lower default rates or smaller dollar losses on loans to marginally qualified minority borrowers or borrowers from minority neighborhoods, compared to loans extended to other similarly qualified borrowers. This study seeks to test this prediction by examining the default-risk characteristics of FHA-insured single-family residential mortgages. All things equal, empirical findings fail to support the theoretical predictions that observed default rates are relatively lower among minority borrowers or neighborhoods.

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Berkovec, J.A., Canner, G.B., Gabriel, S.A. et al. Race, redlining, and residential mortgage loan performance. J Real Estate Finan Econ 9, 263–294 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01099279

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Key words

  • Default
  • discrimination