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Ethnic discrimination in the Italian rental housing market

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  • Massimo Baldini

    ()

  • Marta Federici

    ()

Abstract

With a field experiment carried out on the Internet, this paper studies the presence of discrimination in the Italian rental housing market against persons whose names are distinctive of different ethnic groups and gender. Further, we investigate whether providing information on the job or personal characteristics of the applicant may reduce the extent of discrimination. We also study if sending ill-formed emails negatively affects immigrants’ chances of success in receiving a positive response. We created twelve fictitious individuals: four with Italian-sounding names, four with typical Arab/Muslim names and four with East European-sounding names. We made these individuals send emails to apply for vacant rental apartments in 41 Italian cities. The results provide a multifaceted picture. The degree of discrimination varies across ethnic groups, genders and the level of information, but seems to be present only in part of the country, and is also closely correlated with the size of the flat. Perfect mastery of the receiving-country’s language does not play an important role.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia Politica in its series Center for the Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP) with number 0077.

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Date of creation: Jul 2010
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Handle: RePEc:mod:cappmo:0077

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  1. Bosch, Mariano & Carnero, M. Angeles & Farré, Lídia, 2010. "Information and discrimination in the rental housing market: Evidence from a field experiment," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 11-19, January.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  6. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  7. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Carlsson, Magnus & Fumarco, Luca & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2013. "Artifactual Evidence of Discrimination in Correspondence Studies? A Replication of the Neumark Method," IZA Discussion Papers 7619, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Carlsson, Magnus & Eriksson, Stefan, 2014. "Discrimination in the rental market for apartments," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 41-54.
  3. Tito Boeri & Marta De Philippis & Eleonora Patacchini & Michele Pellizzari, 2014. "Immigration, Housing Discrimination and Employment," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1414, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  4. Oliver Bischoff, 2010. "Explaining Regional Variation in Equilibrium Real Estate Prices and Income," Working Papers 036, Chair for Economic Policy, University of Hamburg.

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