51st Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "New Challenges for European Regions and Urban Areas in a Globalised World", 30 August - 3 September 2011, Barcelona, Spain
In this paper we investigate whether race and ethnicity influenced subprime loan pricing during 2005, the peak of the subprime mortgage expansion. We combine loan-level data on the performance of non-prime securitized mortgages with individual- and neighborhood-level data on racial and ethnic characteristics for metropolitan areas in California and Florida. Using a model of rate determination that accounts for predicted loan performance, we evaluate the presence of disparate impact and disparate treatment from race and ethnicity on rate-setting behavior across the most popular subprime mortgage products. In contrast with previous studies of the subprime market, we find evidence of adverse pricing effects for black and Hispanic borrowers.