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Identifying Taste-Based Discrimination: Effect of Black Electoral Victories on Racial Prejudice and Economic Gaps
I test for the causal impact of Black electoral victories in local elections on White Americans’ attitude toward Black Americans. Using Race Implicit Attitude Test scores as a measure of racial prejudice and close-election regression-discontinuity design for causal inference, I find Black electoral victories cause measures of racial bias to rise, by 4% of the average Black-White difference in IAT scores. Simultaneously, they widen racial gaps in unemployment and mortgage denials. Interpreting these close electoral victories as instrumental variables, I find a large causal effect of ...
Improving the 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage
The 30-year fixed-rate fully amortizing mortgage (or "traditional fixed-rate mortgage") was a substantial innovation when first developed during the Great Depression. However, it has three major flaws. First, because homeowner equity accumulates slowly during the first decade, homeowners are essentially renting their homes from lenders. With so little equity accumulation, many lenders require large down payments. Second, in each monthly mortgage payment, homeowners substantially compensate capital markets investors for the ability to prepay. The homeowner might have better uses for this ...
Consumer Credit Card Payment Deferrals During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In response to the economic hardships stemming from COVID-19, many U.S. card-issuing banks offered measures to assist their customers who were financially affected by the pandemic. Unlike previous disaster assistance programs that were typically short in duration and localized, the COVID-19 pandemic affected millions of consumers across the country for a protracted period of time and required application of broad-based relief measures. These measures, along with federal and state stimulus and benefit payments, provided some stability to many consumers’ financial circumstances during ...
Uncovering Retail Trading in Bitcoin: The Impact of COVID-19 Stimulus Checks
In April 2020, the US government sent economic impact payments (EIPs) directly to households, as part of its measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic. We characterize these stimulus checks as a wealth shock for households and examine their effect on retail trading in Bitcoin. We find a significant increase in Bitcoin buy trades for the modal EIP amount of $1,200. The rise in Bitcoin trading is highest among individuals without families and at exchanges catering to nonprofessional investors. We estimate that the EIP program has a significant but modest effect on the US dollar–Bitcoin ...
Effects of Information Overload on Financial Markets: How Much Is Too Much?
Motivated by cognitive theories verifying that investors have limited capacity to process information, we study the effects of information overload on stock market dynamics. We construct an information overload index using textual analysis tools on daily data from The New York Times since 1885. We structure our empirical analysis around a discrete-time learning model, which links information overload with asset prices and trading volume when investors are attention constrained. We find that our index is associated with lower trading volume and predicts higher market returns for up to 18 ...