Aaronson, Daniel Faber, Jacob Hartley, Daniel Mazumder, Bhashkar Sharkey, Patrick
Year of Publication:
Working Paper No. 2020-33
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago, IL
We estimate the long-run effects of the 1930s Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) redlining maps on census tract-level measures of socioeconomic status and economic opportunity from the Opportunity Atlas (Chetty et al. 2018). We use two identification strategies to identify the long-run effects of differential access to credit along HOLC boundaries. The first compares cross-boundary differences along actual HOLC boundaries to a comparison group of boundaries that had similar pre-existing differences as the actual boundaries. A second approach uses a statistical model to identify boundaries that were least likely to have been chosen by the HOLC. We find that the maps had large and statistically significant causal effects on a wide variety of outcomes measured at the census tract level for cohorts born in the late 1970s and early 1980s.