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Information and discrimination in the rental housing market: Evidence from a field experiment

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  • Bosch, Mariano
  • Carnero, M. Angeles
  • Farré, Lídia

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of disclosing information on the discriminatory behavior against immigrants in the Spanish rental market. We conduct a field experiment where emails are sent showing interest in vacant rental apartments. Fictitious applicants whose names represent different ethnic groups send emails with different amounts of information on their ability to pay the rent. Our results indicate that applicants with a name of Moroccan origin are 15 percentage points less likely to receive a response than those with a Spanish name. We also find that revealing positive information about the socioeconomic status of the Moroccan candidate increases the probability of being contacted by about 9 percentage points. However, the information revealed does not completely eliminate discriminatory behavior, suggesting the presence of negative attitudes towards immigrants.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 40 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 11-19

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:40:y:2010:i:1:p:11-19

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/regec

Related research

Keywords: Discrimination Migration Rental market Field experiment;

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References

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  1. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1997. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," NBER Working Papers 5881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & de la Rica, Sara, 2006. "Labor Market Assimilation of Recent Immigrants in Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 2104, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Dennis J. Aigner & Glen G. Cain, 1977. "Statistical theories of discrimination in labor markets," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(2), pages 175-187, January.
  5. John Yinger, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Consumer Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 23-40, Spring.
  6. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 9873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. P. A. Riach & J. Rich, 2002. "Field Experiments of Discrimination in the Market Place," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 480-518, November.
  9. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  10. Ondrich, Jan & Stricker, Alex & Yinger, John, 1999. "Do Landlords Discriminate? The Incidence and Causes of Racial Discrimination in Rental Housing Markets," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 185-204, September.
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