The Value of Intermediaries for GSE Loans
We analyze the costs and benefits of intermediaries for government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) mortgages using regulatory data. We find evidence of lenders pricing for observable and unobservable default risk independently from the GSEs. These findings are explained using a model of competitive lending in which lenders have skin-in-the-game and acquire information beyond the GSEs' underwriting criteria, but also charge markups. We find that most borrowers are better off in a counterfactual in which the GSEs' underwriting criteria are implemented passively. Finally, the observed differences between banks and nonbanks are more consistent with differences in their skin-in-the-game rather than screening quality.