Sebastián Fleitas

Department of Economics
University of Leuven
3000 Leuven
Tel: +3216373696

Institutional Affiliation: University of Leuven

NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2018Collateral Damage: The Impact of Foreclosures on New Home Mortgage Lending in the 1930s
with Price Fishback, Jonathan Rose, Kenneth Snowden: w25246
Foreclosures led to severe disruptions in home mortgage lending during the recent Great Recession and the Great Depression of the 1930s. It is difficult to measure these impacts in the modern market where origination, funding and servicing are separated within complex lending structures, but during the 1930s local building & loans (B&Ls) combined all three functions. We measure the impact of foreclosures on new mortgage lending using a panel of all B&Ls in 4 states. The foreclosure overhang explains about 30 percent of the drop in new mortgage lending by B&Ls as the housing crisis intensified between 1930 and 1935.
May 2018Reclassification Risk in the Small Group Health Insurance Market
with Gautam Gowrisankaran, Anthony Lo Sasso: w24663
We evaluate reclassification risk in the small group health insurance market from a period before ACA community rating regulations. Using detailed individual-level data from a large insurer, we find a pass through of 16% from health risk to premiums with enrollee fixed effects, and 70% without fixed effects. The fixed effects estimates identify the extent to which the insurer passes through changes in risk to changes in premiums while the higher estimates without fixed effects may be due to more risk rating for new accounts. Our estimates control for selection into insurance take-up with a non-parametric selection model, using individual risk and industrial sector as exclusion restrictions. Our results are also robust to other possibilities, including potential measurement error of risk sc...
December 2015Forbearance by Contract: How Building and Loans Mitigated the Mortgage Crisis of the 1930s
with Price Fishback, Kenneth Snowden: w21786
During the Great Depression, Building and Loans (B&Ls), the leading home lenders, had a structure that mitigated the crisis. Borrowers were owners of the B&L and dissolution of the institution required a two-thirds majority vote. Using panel data from New Jersey in the 1930s, we find that this voting rule delayed dissolution by about one year. The year delay allowed one-fourth of the borrowers in the at-risk B&L to pay off their loans, but nonborrowers lost share value. The net loss was roughly -0.67 percent of the value of all New Jersey B&L assets in the mid-1930s.
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