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Subtle discrimination in the rental housing market: Evidence from e-mail correspondence with landlords

Author

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  • Hanson, Andrew
  • Hawley, Zackary
  • Taylor, Aryn

Abstract

We find that landlords practice subtle discrimination in the rental housing market through the use of language associated with describing and viewing a unit, inviting further correspondence, making a formal greeting, and using polite language when replying to e-mail inquiries from a white name more often than to an African American name, they also send longer e-mails and respond quicker to white names.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:20:y:2011:i:4:p:276-284
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhe.2011.09.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Hanson, Andrew & Hawley, Zackary, 2011. "Do landlords discriminate in the rental housing market? Evidence from an internet field experiment in US cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2-3), pages 99-114, September.
    3. John Yinger, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Consumer Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 23-40, Spring.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Ali M. Ahmed & Mats Hammarstedt, 2009. "Detecting Discrimination against Homosexuals: Evidence from a Field Experiment on the Internet," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(303), pages 588-597, July.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Marc Bendick & Charles Jackson & Victor Reinoso, 1994. "Measuring employment discrimination through controlled experiments," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 25-48, June.
    12. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Acolin, Arthur & Bostic, Raphael & Painter, Gary, 2016. "A field study of rental market discrimination across origins in France," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 49-63.
    2. Auspurg, Katrin & Hinz, Thomas & Schmid, Laura, 2017. "Contexts and conditions of ethnic discrimination: Evidence from a field experiment in a German housing market," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 26-36.
    3. Daniel J. Lee, 2016. "Racial bias and the validity of the Implicit Association Test," WIDER Working Paper Series 053, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Gavazza, Alessandro, 2015. "Brokers’ contractual arrangements in the Manhattan residential rental market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 73-82.
    5. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:86-96 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.
    7. Kakar, Venoo & Franco, Julisa & Voelz, Joel & Wu, Julia, 2016. "Effects of Host Race Information on Airbnb Listing Prices in San Francisco," MPRA Paper 69974, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Discrimination; Field experiment; Housing; Race;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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