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Are lesbians discriminated against in the rental housing market? Evidence from a correspondence testing experiment

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  • Ahmed, Ali M.
  • Andersson, Lina
  • Hammarstedt, Mats

Abstract

This paper presents a field experiment, conducted over the Internet, studying possible discrimination against lesbians in the rental housing market in Sweden. We let two fictitious couples, one heterosexual and one lesbian, apply for vacant rental apartments advertised by landlords on the Internet. We then investigated whether there were differences between the couples in the number of received call-backs, invitations to further contact, and invitations to immediate showings. Our findings show no indication of differential treatment of lesbians by landlords. A discussion relating to earlier findings is provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahmed, Ali M. & Andersson, Lina & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2008. "Are lesbians discriminated against in the rental housing market? Evidence from a correspondence testing experiment," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 234-238, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:17:y:2008:i:3:p:234-238
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Yinger, John, 1986. "Measuring Racial Discrimination with Fair Housing Audits: Caught in the Act," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 881-893, December.
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    7. Ahmed, Ali M. & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2008. "Sexual Orientation and Earnings in Sweden," Working Papers in Economics 285, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 01 Sep 2005.
    8. Canopy Roychoudhury & Allen C. Goodman, 1996. "Evidence of Racial Discrimination in Different Dimensions of Owner-Occupied Housing Search," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 24(2), pages 161-178.
    9. 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.
    10. Ahmed, Ali & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2007. "Discrimination in the housing market — a field experiment on the internet," CAFO Working Papers 2007:1, Linnaeus University, Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), School of Business and Economics.
    11. Jan Ondrich & Stephen Ross & John Yinger, 2003. "Now You See It, Now You Don't: Why Do Real Estate Agents Withhold Available Houses from Black Customers?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 854-873, November.
    12. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Meix-Llop, Enric, 2015. "Do Schools Discriminate Against Homosexual Parents? Evidence from an Internet Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 9044, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Ahmed, Ali & Andersson, Lina & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2011. "Are homosexuals discriminated against in the hiring process?," Working Paper Series 2011:21, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    3. Sansani, Shahar, 2017. "Are the Religiously Observant Discriminated Against in the Rental Housing Market? Experimental Evidence from Israel," MPRA Paper 81424, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Fumarco, Luca, 2015. "Disability Discrimination in the Rental Housing Market – A Field Experiment on Blind Tenants," MPRA Paper 63899, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Uhrig, S.C. Noah, 2014. "An examination of poverty and sexual orientation in the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-02, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    6. Jepsen, Christopher & Jepsen, Lisa K., 2009. "Does home ownership vary by sexual orientation?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 307-315, May.
    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.
    8. David Schwegman, 2017. "Understanding Discrimination against Same-Sex Couples in the United States: Evidence from an Email Correspondence Audit," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 210, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    9. 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.
    10. Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Meix-Llop, Enric, 2016. "Do schools discriminate against homosexual parents? Evidence from a randomized correspondence experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 133-142.
    11. Rich, Judy, 2014. "What Do Field Experiments of Discrimination in Markets Tell Us? A Meta Analysis of Studies Conducted since 2000," IZA Discussion Papers 8584, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Luca Fumarco, 2017. "Disability Discrimination in the Italian Rental Housing Market: A Field Experiment with Blind Tenants," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 93(4), pages 567-584.
    13. 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.

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