Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Racial Differences in the Mortgage Market

Matt Yglesias writing for Vox:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are more likely to reject mortgage applications from black and Hispanic borrowers than from non-hispanic whites. That could be evidence of discrimination, or it could simply be a reflection of broader economic gaps in American society.

And, indeed, as this Urban Institute chart shows the primary cause of the racial gap is a difference in credit quality. White families are more likely to get a loan because they're more likely to be highly creditworthy. 

But if you look at the "weak applicants only" lines you'll see that while the black-white gap is still pretty huge. White applications are rejected at a high rate, but black applications seem to be rejected at a fifty percent higher rate.

That could be evidence of direct discrimination or it could be evidence that you need to peer deeper into the data to find an explanation.


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