Disparities in Mortgage, Lending, Bank Performance, Economic Influence, and Regulatory Oversight

Posted: 30 Jun 2002

See all articles by Keith D. Harvey

Keith D. Harvey

Boise State University - College of Business and Economics

M. Cary Collins

The University of Tennessee

Peter J. Nigro

Bryant University - Department of Finance

Breck L. Robinson

University of Delaware - Department of Finance

Abstract

This study investigates factors affecting changes in the disparity of home mortgage denial rates between white and minority loan applicants in the U.S. during the period 1991-1997. We develop a two-stage least-squares regression model that incorporates applicant-level characteritics, neighborhood characteristics, regional economic data, and bank-specific data as explanatory variables. Some have argued that mortgage lenders were under increasing pressure from industry regulators to extend additional credit to minorities and low-income groups during the period under study. The model includes each institution's periodic CRA rating as a proxy for regulatory influence. An alternative explanation is that market forces, such as improvements in economic conditions and in bank financial condition and performance, affected default loss estimates and credit standards in a way that disproportionally benefited minority and low-income applicants. The empirical findings are consistent with the latter hypothesis. We conclude that policy makers should consider the impact of market factors when assessing the allocation of mortgage credit in a particular demographic market. The findings also underscore the importance of controlling for lender assessments of credit risk when evaluating compliance with CRA and fair lending statutes.

Suggested Citation

Harvey, Keith D. and Collins, Mitchell Cary and Nigro, Peter J. and Robinson, Breck L., Disparities in Mortgage, Lending, Bank Performance, Economic Influence, and Regulatory Oversight. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=302135

Keith D. Harvey (Contact Author)

Boise State University - College of Business and Economics ( email )

1910 University Drive
Boise, ID 83725
United States

Mitchell Cary Collins

The University of Tennessee ( email )

428 Stokely Management Center
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States

Peter J. Nigro

Bryant University - Department of Finance ( email )

1150 Douglas Pike
Smithfield, RI 02917
United States

Breck L. Robinson

University of Delaware - Department of Finance ( email )

Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics
Newark, DE 19716
United States

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