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This paper examines the implications associated with a recent Supreme Court ruling, Kelo v. City of New London. Kelo can be interpreted as supporting eminent domain as a means of transferring property rights from one set of private agents ? landowners ? to another private agent ? a developer. Under voluntary exchange, where the developer sequentially acquires property rights from landowners via bargaining, a holdout problem arises. Eminent domain gives all of the bargaining power to the developer and, as a result, eliminates the holdout problem. This is the benefit of Kelo. However, ...
Recourse and residential mortgages: the case of Nevada
The state of Nevada passed legislation in 2009 that abolished deficiency judgments for purchase mortgage loans made after October 1, 2009, and collateralized by primary single-family homes. In this paper, we study how the law change affected lenders? decisions to grant mortgages and borrowers? decisions to apply for them and subsequently default. Using unique mortgage loan-level application and performance data, we find strong evidence that lenders tightened their lending standards for mortgages affected by the new legislation. In particular, lenders reduced approval rates and loan sizes for ...
Financial frictions, real estate collateral, and small firm activity in Europe
We observe significant heterogeneity in the correlation between changes in house prices and the growth of small firms across certain countries in Europe. We find that, overall, the correlation is far greater in Southern Europe than in Northern Europe. Using a simple model, we show that this heterogeneity may relate to financial frictions in a country. We confirm the model?s propositions in a number of empirical analyses for the following countries in Northern and Southern Europe: the United Kingdom, Norway, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Small firms in countries with higher financial ...
How Prevalent Were Racially Restrictive Covenants in 20th Century Philadelphia? A New Spatial Data Set Provides Answers
One of the tools used by early 20th century developers, builders, and white homeowners to prevent African Americans from accessing parts of the residential real estate market was the racially restrictive covenant. In this paper, we present a newly constructed spatial data set of properties in the city of Philadelphia with deeds that contained a racially restrictive covenant at any time from 1920 to 1932. To date, we have reviewed hundreds of thousands of property deeds and identified nearly 4,000 instances in which a racial covenant had been included in the deed. The covenanted properties ...
Blight remediation in the Southeast: local approaches to design and implementation
Blight?or the proliferation of vacant, abandoned, or poorly maintained properties?is a critical community issue in many cities in the Southeast as in other regions of the United States, as economic shifts experienced in the past few decades have changed neighborhoods significantly. Municipalities dealing with this issue recognize what is well documented in the literature?that blight is associated with social, economic, environmental, and public health effects on neighborhoods. The recent recession has led to a surge of abandoned and bank-owned properties, disproportionately located in poor ...