Did Affordable Housing Legislation Contribute to the Subprime Securities Boom?

Andra C. Ghent, Rubén Hernández-Murillo, Michael T. Owyang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We use a regression discontinuity approach and present new institutional evidence to investigate whether affordable housing policies influenced the market for securitized subprime mortgages. We use merged loan-level data on nonprime mortgages with individual- and neighborhood-level data for California and Florida. We find no evidence that lenders increased subprime originations or altered loan pricing around the discrete eligibility cutoffs for the Government-Sponsored Enterprises' (GSEs) affordable housing goals or the Community Reinvestment Act. Although we find evidence that the GSEs bought significant quantities of subprime securities, our results indicate that these purchases were not directly related to affordable housing mandates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)820-854
Number of pages35
JournalReal Estate Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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