Information and discrimination in the rental housing market: Evidence from a field experiment
This paper investigates the effect of disclosing information on the discriminatory behavior against immigrants in the Spanish rental market. We conduct a field experiment where emails are sent showing interest in vacant rental apartments. Fictitious applicants whose names represent different ethnic groups send emails with different amounts of information on their ability to pay the rent. Our results indicate that applicants with a name of Moroccan origin are 15 percentage points less likely to receive a response than those with a Spanish name. We also find that revealing positive information about the socioeconomic status of the Moroccan candidate increases the probability of being contacted by about 9 percentage points. However, the information revealed does not completely eliminate discriminatory behavior, suggesting the presence of negative attitudes towards immigrants.
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