Does Marriage Equality Promote Credit Access? Evidence from Same-sex Marriage Laws
58 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2019 Last revised: 18 Mar 2023
Date Written: October 24, 2022
We show that following the legalization of same-sex marriage across US states, mortgage applications from same-sex borrowers are more likely to be denied relative to a matched sample of different-sex borrowers. Our findings are robust to using a stacked regression design and several approaches to account for compositional changes in the pool of mortgage applicants around same-sex legalization. FinTech lenders, which rely less on human loan officers, experience no change in the denial gap. Our results highlight information frictions between loan officers and same-sex borrowers as one channel for the increased denial gap between same-sex and different-sex applications.
Keywords: banks, mortgages, same-sex marriage
JEL Classification: G21, J12, J15, K36
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