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Do landlords discriminate in the rental housing market? Evidence from an internet field experiment in US cities

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Author Info

  • Hanson, Andrew
  • Hawley, Zackary

Abstract

This paper tests for racial discrimination in the rental housing market using matched-pair audits conducted via e-mail for rental units advertised on-line. We reveal home-seekers’ race to landlords by sending e-mails from names with a high likelihood of association with either whites or African Americans. Generally, discrimination occurs against African American names; however, when the content of the e-mail messages insinuates home-seekers with high social class, discrimination is non-existent. Racial discrimination is more severe in neighborhoods that are near “tipping points” in racial composition, and for units that are part of a larger building.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 99-114

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:70:y:2011:i:2:p:99-114

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

Related research

Keywords: Racial discrimination; Rental housing; Field experiment;

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References

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  1. Jan Ondrich & Stephen Ross & John Yinger, 2001. "Now You See it, Now You Don't: Why Do Real Estate Agents Withhold Available Houses from Black Customers?," Working papers 2001-01, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2002.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
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  4. Ondrich, Jan & Ross, Stephen L. & Yinger, John, 2000. "How Common is Housing Discrimination? Improving on Traditional Measures," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 470-500, May.
  5. Ahmed, Ali M. & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2008. "Discrimination in the rental housing market: A field experiment on the Internet," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 362-372, September.
  6. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2006. "Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in Local Consumer Markets: Exploiting the Army’s Procedures for Matching Personnel to Duty Locations," IZA Discussion Papers 2389, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Page Marianne, 1995. "Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in Urban Housing Markets: Evidence from a Recent Audit Study," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 183-206, September.
  8. David Card & Alexandre Mas & Jesse Rothstein, 2008. "Tipping and the Dynamics of Segregation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 177-218, 02.
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  10. Ali M. Ahmed & Lina Andersson & Mats Hammarstedt, 2010. "Can Discrimination in the Housing Market Be Reduced by Increasing the Information about the Applicants?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(1), pages 79-90.
  11. Zhao, Bo, 2005. "Does the number of houses a broker shows depend on a homeseeker's race?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 128-147, January.
  12. John Yinger, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Consumer Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 23-40, Spring.
  13. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  14. M. Angeles Carnero Fernández & Lídia Farré Olalla & Mariano Bosch, 2009. "Information and discrimination in the rental housing market: evidence from a field experiment," Working Papers. Serie AD 2009-21, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  15. Myers, Caitlin Knowles, 2004. "Discrimination and neighborhood effects: understanding racial differentials in US housing prices," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 279-302, September.
  16. Bradburd, Ralph & Sheppard, Stephen & Bergeron, Joseph & Engler, Eric & Gee, Evan, 2005. "The distributional impact of housing discrimination in a non-Walrasian setting," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 61-91, June.
  17. Zhao, Bo & Ondrich, Jan & Yinger, John, 2006. "Why do real estate brokers continue to discriminate? Evidence from the 2000 Housing Discrimination Study," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 394-419, May.
  18. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hanson, Andrew & Hawley, Zackary, 2014. "Where does racial discrimination occur? An experimental analysis across neighborhood and housing unit characteristics," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 94-106.
  2. Tito Boeri & Marta De Philippis & Eleonora Patacchini & Michele Pellizzari, 2011. "Immigration, Housing Discrimination and Employment," Working Papers 390, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Filip Matejka, 2013. "Attention Discrimination: Theory and Field Experiments," 2013 Meeting Papers 798, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Carlsson, Magnus & Eriksson, Stefan, 2014. "Discrimination in the rental market for apartments," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 41-54.
  5. Bruno Decreuse & Benoît Schmutz & Alain Trannoy & Pierre-Philippe Combes, 2011. "The neighbor is king: Customer discrimination in the housing market," 2011 Meeting Papers 1187, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Raya, Josep M., 2014. "Mortgages, immigrants and discrimination: An analysis of the interest rates in Spain," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 22-32.
  7. Hanson, Andrew & Hawley, Zackary & Taylor, Aryn, 2011. "Subtle discrimination in the rental housing market: Evidence from e-mail correspondence with landlords," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 276-284.

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