Mario Small - Harvard

Financial institutions, neighborhoods, and racial inequality

    Date:  04/08/2021 (Thu)

    Time:  3:30pm- 5:00pm

    Location:  ZOOM

    Organizer:  Scott Lynch


Meeting Schedule: (Not currently open for scheduling. Please contact the seminar organizer listed above.)

    All meetings will be in ZOOM unless otherwise noted.

    3:30pm - Seminar Presentation (3:30pm to 5:00pm)


    Additional Comments:  Research has made clear that racial inequality is affected by neighborhood conditions. One important condition is the accessibility of financial establishments. We examine how living in minority neighborhoods affects ease of access to conventional banks vs. to alternative financial institutions (AFIs) such as check cashers and payday lenders. Based on more than 6 million queries, we compute the difference in the time required to walk, drive, or take public transit to the nearest bank vs. the nearest AFI from the middle of every block in each of 19 of the nation’s largest cities. Results suggest that race is strikingly more important than class: even after numerous economic, demographic, and structural conditions are accounted for, the AFI is more often closer than the bank in well-off minority neighborhoods than in poor white ones. I discuss implications.