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Working Papers, No. 2017-12, 2017
The Effects of the 1930s HOLC "Redlining" Maps (REVISED August 2020)

We study the effects of the 1930s-era HOLC "redlining" maps on the long-run trajectories of neighborhoods. Using a boundary design and propensity score methods, we find that the maps led to reduced home ownership rates, house values, and rents and increased racial segregation in later decades. We also compare cities on either side of a population cutoff that determined whether maps were drawn and find broadly similar results. We conclude that the HOLC maps had meaningful and lasting effects on the development of urban neighborhoods through reduced credit access and subsequent disinvestment.

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