Blog Archives

Community socioeconomic status and disparities in mortgage lending: An analysis of Metropolitan Detroit

This note examines the effects of community socioeconomic status on mortgage lending patterns
in Metropolitan Detroit. Data from 2000 HMDA reports and the 2000 U.S. Census are analyzed using
multiple regression. The results from this analysis have two important implications for research on
mortgage lending. First, they indicate that the effects of variables linked to a community’s socioeconomic
status on mortgage lending patterns are highly intercorrelated. As a result, variations in mortgage lending
appear to be the result of the combined effects of a number of socioeconomic variables acting together.
Second, the results from this analysis indicate that the socioeconomic status of a community is positively
correlated with mortgage lending activity. In other words, a decline in neighborhood socioeconomic
status is significantly correlated with a decline in mortgage lending

The Battle over the Ex-Slave’s Fortune: The Story of Cynthia Hesdra

Few people are familiar with the name of Cynthia Hesdra. She was born a slave in the North During her lifetime though, she owned a successful laundry business and real estate in New York and New Jersey. She was also involved in the historic “underground railroad” station in Nyack, NY. She died at the age of 71 with a fortune estimated at around &100,000. By today’s standards she was a millionaire. Her family fought over her estate in a series of trials, which included a precedent setting trial involving handwriting analysis. The story of Cynthia Hesdra provided insight into the economic contributions of blacks in the North prior to the twentieth century. This article examines the life and times of Cynthis Hesdra and other blacks during her lifetime, using historic census data, court records, historic newspaper articles, and other sources. Initially, Cynthia Hesdra’s estate went to her husband, Edward, but the state would eventually take ownership of the ex-slave’s fortune.

A home of her own: an analysis of asset ownership for non-married black and white women

Race and gender are strong predictors of asset ownership including home ownership, self-employment and interest, dividends and rental income. Yet, seldom have the two concepts been linked in the socio-logical literature on wealth inequality. Additionally, potentially important determinants such as business income have often times been excluded from the analyses despite findings suggesting that business income may be an important indicator for racial and minority groups who would otherwise be regulated to employment in low status jobs in the secondary labor market.