Abstract

Using a proprietary data set of credit bureau records, Cohen-Cole (2011) finds evidence that lenders are using the racial composition of a borrower's neighborhood to set credit limits on revolving accounts. Using the same credit bureau data, I revisit this work and reach two main findings. First, an undocumented decision in constructing the variables appears to have introduced a distortion that is highly correlated with neighborhood racial composition and appears to increase the size of the reported disparity. Second, when neighborhood income is controlled for, the results presented as evidence of redlining disappear.

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