This article argues that policy makers addressing racial disparities in the share of subprime mortgages must take into account the relationship between existing levels of racial segregation and the racial disparities in the types of mortgages homeowners received. The authors examine approximately 200 metropolitan areas across the country and note the significant racial disparities in the percentage of subprime mortgages received by different racial groups. Various mechanisms that explain these racial disparities are also explored. The authors ultimately conclude that residential segregation plays a significant role in shaping lending patterns.

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