Subprime babies: The foreclosure crisis and initial health endowments

Janelle Downing, Tim Bruckner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The subprime mortgage crisis was a devastating financial shock for many homeowners. This research uses a probabilistic matching strategy to link foreclosure records with birth certificate records from 2006 to 2010 in California to identify birth parents who experienced a foreclosure. Among mothers who did, those issued a loan during the peak of subprime lending from 2005 to 2007 were more Hispanic and socioeconomically disadvantaged than mothers with loans originating before 2005. We use a mother fixed-effects analyses of ever-foreclosed mothers issued a loan during 2006 and 2007 and find that infants in gestation during or after the foreclosure had a lower birth weight for gestational age than those born earlier, suggesting that the foreclosure crisis was a plausible contributor to disparities in initial health endowments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-140
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019


  • Administrative
  • Birth certificate
  • Foreclosure
  • Perinatal epidemiology
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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