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In the 1990's Congress promoted policies to increase credit access and homeownership among lower-income and minority neighborhoods and households. Beliefs that credit access and homeownership entail individual and societal benefits (DiPasquale and Glaeser 1999, Aaronson 2000, Kubrin and Squires 2004, Garmaise and Moskowitz 2006), and that discrimination (Munnell et al 1996) and information externalities (Lang and Nakamura 1992) plague credit markets motivated such actions. One such policy is the "GSE Act", which calls on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to devote a large share of their business (a combined $1.5 trillion in mortgage asset purchases in 2007) to "Underserved" groups.
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