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Working Paper, No. 2017-12, 2017
The Effects of the 1930s HOLC “Redlining” Maps (REVISED February 2019)

We study the effects of the 1930s-era HOLC “redlining” maps on the long-run trajectories of neighborhoods. Using a boundary design along with propensity score methods, we estimate the causal effects of the maps on racial segregation, home ownership, house values, rents, and credit scores. We also compare cities on either side of a population cutoff that determined whether maps were drawn for identification. Our results suggest that the HOLC maps had an economically meaningful and lasting effect on the development of urban neighborhoods through reduced credit access and subsequent disinvestment.

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