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Discrimination in the rental housing market: A field experiment on the Internet

  • Ahmed, Ali M.
  • Hammarstedt, Mats

This paper presents a field experiment on discrimination in the housing market, using the Internet as a research platform. The procedure involved our creating three fictitious persons with distinctive sounding ethnic and gender names. These individuals applied for vacant rental apartments in Sweden that were advertised by landlords on the Internet. Our findings show that the Arabic/Muslim male received far fewer call backs, enquiries, and showings than the Swedish male. Our observations also indicate that the Swedish female met with less difficulty in terms of finding an apartment than the Swedish male. Thus, based on our findings, we conclude that ethnic, as well as gender discrimination exists in the Swedish rental housing market.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WMG-4RWBSVV-1/2/b36fc8ef0e85ef21628f1d0ddf02c9a6
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 64 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 362-372

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:64:y:2008:i:2:p:362-372
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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  1. 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.
  2. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  3. Jan Ondrich & Stephen Ross & John Yinger, 2001. "Now You See it, Now You Don't: Why Do Real Estate Agents Withhold Available Houses from Black Customers?," Working papers 2001-01, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2002.
  4. Angrist, Joshua & Lang, Kevin, 2004. "Does School Integration Generate Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," IZA Discussion Papers 976, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are emily and greg more employable than lakisha and jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination," Natural Field Experiments 00216, The Field Experiments Website.
  6. Ahmed, Ali M., 2007. "Group identity, social distance and intergroup bias," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 324-337, June.
  7. 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.
  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. Mary Corcoran & Roger Gordon & Deborah Laren & Gary Solon, 1992. "The Association between Men's Economic Status and Their Family and Community Origins," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(4), pages 575-601.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  13. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
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