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Discrimination in rental markets: Evidence from Norway


  • Beatty, Timothy K.M.
  • Sommervoll, Dag Einar


This paper examines discrimination in the rental housing market. We analyze a rich data set on rental contracts from Norway. We find that tenants born abroad pay a statistically significant and economically important premium for their dwelling units after controlling for a comprehensive set of apartment, individual and contract specific covariates. Moreover, we find that the premium is largest for tenants of African origin. Finally, Norwegians whose parents were born abroad also face a statistically significant and economically important rental premium that is directly comparable to the premium paid by tenants born abroad.

Suggested Citation

  • Beatty, Timothy K.M. & Sommervoll, Dag Einar, 2012. "Discrimination in rental markets: Evidence from Norway," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 121-130.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:21:y:2012:i:2:p:121-130
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhe.2012.03.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John M. Clapp & Stephen L. Ross, 2004. "Schools and Housing Markets: An Examination of School Segregation and Performance in Connecticut," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(499), pages 425-440, November.
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    3. Choi, Seok Joon & Ondrich, Jan & Yinger, John, 2005. "Do rental agents discriminate against minority customers? Evidence from the 2000 Housing Discrimination Study," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-26, March.
    4. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 455-506, June.
    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. 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.
    7. Stephen L. Ross, 2008. "Understanding Racial Segregation: What is known about the Effect of Housing Discrimination," Working papers 2008-15, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2008.
    8. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-661, September.
    9. Kiel, Katherine A. & Zabel, Jeffrey E., 1996. "House Price Differentials in U.S. Cities: Household and Neighborhood Racial Effects," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 143-165, June.
    10. Goodman, Allen C., 2003. "Following a panel of stayers: Length of stay, tenure choice, and housing demand," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 106-133, June.
    11. Allen C. Goodman & Masahiro Kawai, 1985. "Length-of-Residence Discounts and Rental Housing Demand: Theory and Evidence," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(2), pages 93-105.
    12. 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.
    13. Barker, David, 2003. "Length of residence discounts, turnover, and demand elasticity. Should long-term tenants pay less than new tenants?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-11, March.
    14. 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. 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.
    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.

    More about this item


    Discrimination; Rental markets; Hedonic regression;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand


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