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Working Paper, No. 2020-33, December 2020 Crossref
The Long-Run Effects of the 1930s HOLC “Redlining” Maps on Place-Based Measures of Economic Opportunity and Socioeconomic Success

We estimate the long-run effects of the 1930s Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) redlining maps on census tract-level measures of socioeconomic status and economic opportunity from the Opportunity Atlas (Chetty et al. 2018). We use two identification strategies to identify the long-run effects of differential access to credit along HOLC boundaries. The first compares cross-boundary differences along actual HOLC boundaries to a comparison group of boundaries that had similar pre-existing differences as the actual boundaries. A second approach uses a statistical model to identify boundaries that were least likely to have been chosen by the HOLC. We find that the maps had large and statistically significant causal effects on a wide variety of outcomes measured at the census tract level for cohorts born in the late 1970s and early 1980s.


Working papers are not edited, and all opinions and errors are the responsibility of the author(s). The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago or the Federal Reserve System.

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