Pockets of Poverty: The Long-Term Effects of Redlining
53 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2016
Date Written: October 15, 2016
This paper studies the long-term effects of redlining policies that restricted access to credit in urban communities. For empirical identification, we use a regression discontinuity design that exploits boundaries from maps created by the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) in 1940. We find that "redlined" neighborhoods have 4.8% lower home prices in 1990 relative to adjacent areas. This finding is robust to the exclusion of boundaries that coincide with the physical features of cities (e.g., rivers, landmarks). Moreover, we show that housing characteristics varied smoothly at the boundaries when the maps were created. Evidence suggests lower property values may be driven by negative externalities associated with fewer owner-occupied homes and more vacant structures. Overall, our results indicate the effects of discriminatory credit rationing can persist decades after such practices are formally discontinued.
Keywords: Redlining, Credit Rationing, Household Finance
JEL Classification: E5, N3, R2, R31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation