Friday, October 5, 2012

Rub ́en Herna ́ndez-Murillo, Andra C. Ghent, and Michael T. Owyang show that the Community Reinvestment Act did not induce subprime lending.

They look at lending originations and loan performance on either side of the CRA thresholds.  If CRA encouraged subprime lending, one should see a discontinuity at the thresholds, but there is none.

These are originations for 2-28 subprime loans.  Under CRA, lenders received credit for originating and funding loans in census tracts whose median incomes were below 80 percent of area median income.  If the CRA was inducing lending, we should see a jump in lending to the left of the 80 percent cut-off--there isn't (either visually or econometrically).  They find the same result when looking at pricing and default.