2018 Best Article in the Journal of Urban Affairs Award

Carolina Reid And Edward Goetz
Pictured from left to right: Carolina Reid (University of California at Berkeley) and Edward Goetz, Award Committee Chair (University of Minnesota) Copyright rhlphoto.com

The Urban Affairs Association (UAA), the international professional association for urban scholars, researchers and public service professionals, convened its 48th Annual Conference in Toronto, Ontario, April 4-7, 2018. More than 1,000 participants, representing universities, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and public and private organizations/institutions from around the world met to discuss 21st century issues impacting urban populations and places. Conference participants represented institutions from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The University of Toronto, York University, and Ryerson University served as the local sponsors for the event.

During the conference, awards were presented in recognition of outstanding scholarship and service. Among those honored were Carolina Reid (University of California at Berkeley), Debbie Bocian (Abt Associates), Wei Li (Urban Institute), and Roberto Quercia (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). For their article, “Revisiting the subprime crisis: The dual mortgage market and mortgage defaults by race and ethnicity,” Reid, Bocian, Li and Quercia were awarded the 2018 Best Article in the Journal of Urban Affairs Award, for a 2017 published article.

Award Committee Assessment:

We are pleased to announce Carolina Reid, Debbie Bocian, Wei Li, and Roberto Quercia as the recipients of the award for Best Article in the Journal of Urban Affairs for 2017 (Volume 39). Their paper, “Revisiting the subprime crisis: The dual mortgage market and mortgage defaults by race and ethnicity” examined the racial dimensions of the foreclosure crisis in the U.S. They used a unique combination of different national data sets to allow an examination of loan originators, loan terms, racial/ethnic identity of borrowers, and the full set of underwriting criteria for well over 900,000 loans originated just prior to the onset of the foreclosure crisis. They applied rigorous analytical techniques to produce a study of great importance to scholars from many fields and to practitioner in both public and private sectors. The writing was clear and accessible, and the analysis authoritative. Their findings convincingly showed that “Black and Hispanic borrowers were systematically offered different loan products, with material consequences.” The article is a model of innovative, meticulous, policy relevant research.

Award Committee:

Edward Goetz, Committee Chair (University of Minnesota), Melanie Bowers (Rutgers University, Camden), Augustin Leon-Moreta (University of New Mexico), Daniel Scheller (University of Texas at El Paso), and James Fraser (Vanderbilt University)

Award Winners:

Carolina Reid, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California at Berkeley and the Faculty Research Advisor for the Terner Center for Housing Innovation. Reid specializes in housing and community development, with a specific focus on affordable housing, home-ownership, and access to credit. She has published research on the impact of foreclosures on low-income and minority communities, the Community Reinvestment Act, and borrowers’ experiences in navigating housing and mortgage markets. In addition to ongoing work in these areas, Reid is increasingly focusing on issues of affordability in the rental market. Her current projects examine the linkages between affordable housing policies (such as the Rental Assistance Demonstration, HOPE SF, and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit) and household economic mobility. Before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley, Reid served as the Research Manager for the Community Development Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and as a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Responsible Lending. She received her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Washington, Seattle, and her undergraduate degree from Stanford University.

Debbie Bocian is a Senior Associate in the Social and Economic Policy division of Abt Associates, where she specializes in the consumer financial protection, financial capability, and economic inclusion fields. She is currently a Co-Principal Investigator on a randomized-control study of the impact of pre-purchase housing counseling on financial capability for low-and moderate-income families. Other current projects include usability testing and redesign of financial capability tools and the examination of pathways to financial well-being, using CFPB’s financial well-being and financial ability scales. Prior to Abt, Bocian served as a Principal Researcher at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), where she designed, managed, and executed projects on how interactions with consumer credit markets impact the wealth and financial security of vulnerable families and communities. She holds an MPP from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and a BA in economics from Haverford College.

Before joining Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Wei Li was a senior research associate in the Housing Finance Policy Center (HFPC) at the Urban Institute, where his research focuses on the social and political aspects of the housing finance market and their implications for urban policy. His research led to the creation of the HFPC Credit Availability Index and the real denial rate. He received the Urban Institute President’s Award for Outstanding Research in 2015. Li’s work has been published widely in various academic journals and has been covered in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, as well as in other print and broadcast media. Before joining Urban, Li was a principal researcher with the Center for Responsible Lending, where he wrote numerous publications on the housing finance market. Li is also a quantitative research methodologist with a deep understanding of cost-benefit analysis, program evaluation, and causal inference in social and political science. Li received his MA in statistics and his PhD in environmental science, policy, and management from the University of California, Berkeley.

Roberto Quercia is the Harris Distinguished Professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of City and Regional Planning. Professor Quercia leads major research projects in the areas of low-income homeownership, mortgage lending, subprime and predatory lending, and financial services issues. He is a co-author of Regaining the Dream: How to Renew the Promise of Homeownership for America’s Working Families (with Allison Freeman and Janneke Ratcliffe, and of A Place Called Home: The Social Dimensions of Homeownership (with Kim Manturuk and Mark Lindblad). Professor Quercia has conducted extensive research for government agencies, municipalities, community organizations and private entities, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal National Mortgage Association, and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. He has published on the topics of low-income homeownership, affordable lending and the assessment of lending risks, and homeownership education and counseling. He has held appointments at the University of Texas, the University of California at Berkeley, the Wharton Real Estate Center (University of Pennsylvania), and the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. Professor Quercia holds a masters degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


The Urban Affairs Association (UAA) is the international professional organization for urban scholars, researchers, and public service providers. UAA is dedicated to creating interdisciplinary spaces for engaging in intellectual and practical discussions about urban life. Through theoretical, empirical, and action-oriented research, the UAA fosters diverse activities to understand and shape a more just and equitable urban world. UAA sponsors the Journal of Urban Affairs, a refereed annual journal, publishing manuscripts related to urban research and policy analysis of interest to both scholars and practitioners. UAA also sponsors Upsilon Sigma – The Urban Studies Honor Society, an international, multidisciplinary honor society dedicated to recognizing and encouraging excellence in scholarship, leadership, and engagement in urban studies and related fields. The Urban Affairs Association hosts a conference each spring in an urban center. The conference program features both topics of institutional concern and those related to urban issues.

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