Evidence of Discrimination in Lending: An Extension



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    • Sherrill Shaffer is from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. This note embodies the views of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia or of the Federal Reserve System. The author is grateful to Loretta Mester, René Stulz, and two anonymous referees for helpful comments.


We generalize the model of Ferguson and Peters (1995) to allow for unequal recovery rates in the event of default by majority borrowers versus minority borrowers. This simple extension has two direct implications: (i) a uniform credit policy, as defined by Ferguson and Peters, entails cross-subsidization across groups; and (ii) it is possible for a profit-maximizing (and therefore economically nondiscriminatory) lending policy to generate lower average default rates among minority borrowers than among majority borrowers.