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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1093137
 
 

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Did Securitization Lead to Lax Screening? Evidence from Subprime Loans


Benjamin J. Keys


Harris School of Public Policy

Tanmoy K. Mukherjee


Sorin Capital Management, LLC

Amit Seru


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business and NBER

Vikrant Vig


London Business School

December 25, 2008

EFA 2008 Athens Meetings Paper

Abstract:     
A central question surrounding the current subprime crisis is whether the securitization process reduced the incentives of financial intermediaries to carefully screen borrowers. We empirically examine this issue using a unique dataset on securitized subprime mortgage loan contracts in the United States. We exploit a specific rule of thumb in the lending market to generate exogenous variation in the ease of securitization and compare the composition and performance of lenders' portfolios around the ad-hoc threshold. Conditional on being securitized, the portfolio that is more likely to be securitized defaults by around 10-25% more than a similar risk profile group with a lower probability of securitization. We conduct additional analyses to rule out selection on the part of borrowers, lenders, or investors as alternative explanations. The results are confined to loans where intermediaries' screening effort may be relevant and soft information about borrowers determines their creditworthiness. Our findings suggest that existing securitization practices did adversely affect the screening incentives of lenders.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 59

Keywords: Securitization, screening, incentives, subprime, defaults, mortgages, disintermediation, subprime crisis, consumer credit

JEL Classification: G21

working papers series


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Date posted: March 3, 2008 ; Last revised: January 11, 2009

Suggested Citation

Keys, Benjamin J. and Mukherjee, Tanmoy K. and Seru, Amit and Vig, Vikrant, Did Securitization Lead to Lax Screening? Evidence from Subprime Loans (December 25, 2008). EFA 2008 Athens Meetings Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1093137 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1093137

Contact Information

Benjamin J. Keys
Harris School of Public Policy ( email )
1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
Tanmoy K. Mukherjee
Sorin Capital Management, LLC ( email )
400 Atlantic St.
12th floor
Stamford, CT 06901
United States
Amit Seru (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business and NBER ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Chicago Booth School of Business Logo

Vikrant Vig
London Business School ( email )
Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom
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