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Credit Card Redlining

Ethan Cohen-Cole

Econ One Research

February 9, 2009

FRB of Boston Quantitative Analysis Unit Working Paper No. QAU08-1

This paper evaluates the presence of racial disparities in the issuance of consumer credit. Using a unique and proprietary database of credit histories from a major credit bureau, this paper links location-based information on race with individual credit files. After controlling for the influence of such other place-specific factors as housing vacancy rates and general population demographics, the paper finds qualitatively large differences in the amount of credit offered to similarly qualified applicants living in Black versus White areas. The high quality of the data allow the paper to distinguish between issuer-provided credit (supply) and utilization of credit (demand). Additional estimates using a database of payday lending locations provide support for idea that issuers condition lending on location.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 30

Keywords: Credit cards, racial disparities, access to credit, Black, redlining

JEL Classification: J15, G21

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Date posted: March 4, 2008 ; Last revised: June 29, 2009

Suggested Citation

Cohen-Cole, Ethan, Credit Card Redlining (February 9, 2009). FRB of Boston Quantitative Analysis Unit Working Paper No. QAU08-1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1098403 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1098403

Contact Information

Ethan Cohen-Cole (Contact Author)
Econ One Research ( email )
United States
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