Distribution of COVID-19 Incidence by Geography, Race, and Income
In this post, we study whether (and how) the spread of COVID-19 across the United States has varied by geography, race, income, and population density. Have urban areas been more affected by COVID-19 than rural areas? Has population density mattered in the spread? Has the coronavirus's impact varied by race and income? Our analysis uncovers stark demographic and geographic differences in the effects of the pandemic thus far.
The Role of Race in Mortgage Lending: Revisiting the Boston Fed Study
This paper reexamines claims that non-economic discrimination persists in mortgage loan origination decisions. I find that racial differences in outcomes do exist, as minorities fare worse regarding debt-to-income requirements but better for loan-to-value requirements. Overall, significant racial differentials exist only for "marginal" applicants and are not present for those with higher incomes or those with no credit problems. Thus, the claim that non-economic discrimination is a general phenomenon is refuted. Further, I can say little regarding the existence of discrimination among ...
Negative equity in the Sixth Federal Reserve District
Using Zillow's zip code level Negative Equity Report for the second quarter of 2014 and 2015, I map, describe, and analyze the characteristics of neighborhoods that have persistent negative equity in the Sixth Federal Reserve District, comprised of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Persistent negative equity, when a house is worth less than outstanding mortgage debt, is high in the Sixth District and concentrated in urban areas. In a series of regressions, I evaluate the correlation of income, commute times, unemployment, housing stock quality, ...
Measuring Racial Disparities in Higher Education and Student Debt Outcomes
Across the United States, the cost of all types of higher education has been rising faster than overall inflation for more than two decades. Despite rising costs, aggregate undergraduate enrollment rose steadily between 2000 and 2010 before leveling off and dipping slightly to its current level. Rising college costs have steadily increased dependence on student debt for college financing, with many students and parents turning to federal and private loans to pay for higher education. An earlier post in this series reported that borrowers in majority Black areas have higher student loan ...
Inequality in U.S. Homeownership Rates by Race and Ethnicity
Homeownership has historically been an important means for Americans to accumulate wealth—in fact, at more than $15 trillion, housing equity accounts for 16 percent of total U.S. household wealth. Consequently, the U.S. homeownership cycle has triggered large swings in Americans’ net worth over the past twenty-five years. However, the nature of those swings has varied significantly by race and ethnicity, with different demographic groups tracing distinct trajectories through the housing boom, the foreclosure crisis, and the subsequent recovery. Here, we look into the dynamics underlying ...
Building an Equitable Future
Remarks at Economic Inequality Policy Forum: The Impacts of COVID-19 on Communities of Color and Policy Insights for an Equitable Economic Recovery (delivered via videoconference).
Taking a Closer Look at Marital Status and the Earnings Gap
Research suggests that married men’s higher income account for a significant portion of the U.S. gender earnings gap. Does this also hold when race is considered?
Mortgage Prepayment, Race, and Monetary Policy
This paper documents large differences in mortgage prepayment behavior across racial and ethnic groups in the United States, which have significant implications for monetary policy, inequality, and pricing. Using a novel data set that combines administrative data on mortgage performance with information on race and ethnicity, we show that Black and Hispanic white borrowers have significantly lower prepayment rates compared with Non-Hispanic white borrowers, holding income, credit score, and equity constant. This gap is on the order of 50 percent and largely reflects different sensitivities ...
Disaggregated Data as a Tool of Inclusion
Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe, founder and president of the Women’s Institute for Science, Equity and Race, says disaggregating data leads to better policy and saves lives.
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 ...