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How many correspondence tests are enough to detect discrimination among single agents? A longitudinal study on the Belgian real estate market

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  • Verhaeghe, Pieter-Paul
  • Van der Bracht, Koen

Abstract

Correspondence tests have been used by scholars and civil rights organizations to measure ethnic discrimination. In contrast to research testing covering a whole market through many discrimination tests, litigation testing typically targets a single agent, which can only be tested through a very low number of tests per agent. This low number of tests poses serious methodological challenges to disentangle systematic discrimination from random treatment. This study examines from a purely statistical point of view how many discrimination tests per single agent are needed to convincingly proof discrimination. We collected unique longitudinal data about 114 real estate agents, which were tested through 10 repeated pairwise matched correspondence tests. It appears that 10 or more tests are needed per realtor to detect discrimination with a high degree of certainty. The required number of tests per agent depends on the pattern of discrimination among the agent under study, the expected non-response rate and the desired degree of certainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Verhaeghe, Pieter-Paul & Van der Bracht, Koen, 2020. "How many correspondence tests are enough to detect discrimination among single agents? A longitudinal study on the Belgian real estate market," GLO Discussion Paper Series 678, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:678
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stephen L. Ross & John Yinger, 2006. "Uncovering Discrimination: A Comparison of the Methods Used by Scholars and Civil Rights Enforcement Officials," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 562-614.
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    5. Alexandre Flage, 2018. "Ethnic and Gender Discrimination in Rental Housing Market, Evidence from Meta-Analysis of Correspondence Tests, 2006-2017," Working Papers 2018-04, CRESE.
    6. Kristof Heylen & Katleen Van den Broeck, 2016. "Discrimination and selection in the Belgian private rental market," Housing Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(2), pages 223-236, March.
    7. Flage, Alexandre, 2018. "Ethnic and gender discrimination in the rental housing market: Evidence from a meta-analysis of correspondence tests, 2006–2017," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 251-273.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    discrimination; discrimination tests; mid-p-value; longitudinal study; housing market; enforcement testing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy

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