Race and Sex Discrimination in Housing: The Evidence from Probabilities of Homeownership

Ladenson, Mark L.
October 1978
Southern Economic Journal;Oct78, Vol. 45 Issue 2, p559
Academic Journal
In this paper we estimated probability of home purchase equations for the years 1969 through 1974. We found that the difference in probability of home purchase due to being black fell in the years after the passage in 1968 of the National Fair Housing Act and the Section 235 program, but rose upon the suspension of 235 in early 1973. From this we inferred that the drop was due to the effects of the latter Act rather than the former. Thus we might expect the reduction in down payments and increase in interest rate subsidy associated with the 235 program, revealed in January 1978 by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Patricia Roberts Harris, again to reduce the racial difference in probability of home purchase.[17]
We also investigated whether Kain and Quigley's result, obtained with 1967 data, relating to female headed families persisted until the Fair Housing Act was amended to include sex in 1974. They found that such a family is 20 percent less likely to purchase a home, given a move, than an otherwise identical male-headed family. We found a sex difference of around 15 percent in 1970 through 1972 and a drop in the difference to around 8 percent in 1973 and 1974.
Finally, we attempted to determine if any of the differences in probability of home purchase between black and white households was due to differences in assets, and found that perhaps ten to twenty percent of the former difference could be explained by the latter.


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