The Public Interest in Consumer and Mortgage Credit Markets
Eric S. Belsky
Susan M. Wachter
University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School, Department of Real Estate
March 26, 2010
University of Pennsylvania Institute for Law & Economic Research Paper No. 10-05
This paper examines mortgage credit markets and the need for government intervention to protect and advance the public interest. We identify as rationales for the public interest: positive and negative externalities, the promotion of equal access, and information asymmetry and principal agent problems. We point to the role of market conduct and structure, as well as information asymmetry and principal agent problems, as prominent sources for the US mortgage debacle. While it is beyond the scope of this paper to outline a reform program, this paper points, in the aftermath of the crisis, to a need for a framework to address information and principal agent issues in the conduct and structure of mortgage markets. As a new framework for mortgage markets is developed, attention needs to be placed on the role that information on loan quality and pricing plays for borrowers’ and investors’ appropriate pricing and allocation of capital.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: Banking and Finance, Law and Economics, Credit Market Regulation, Externalities, Equal Access to Credit, Asymmetric Information, Principle-Agent Problems, Market Structure, Securitization, Mortgage Credit Crunch, Loan Quality and Pricing Information
JEL Classification: D4, G14, G21, K23, L19
Date posted: April 1, 2010
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