Do Landlords Discriminate in the Rental Housing Market? Evidence from an Internet Field Experiment in U.S. Cities

Posted: 1 Dec 2010

See all articles by Andrew Hanson

Andrew Hanson

Marquette University- Department of Economics

Zackary Hawley

Georgia State University

Abstract

This paper tests for racial discrimination in the rental housing market using matched pair audits conducted via e-mail for rental units advertised on-line. We reveal home-seekers race to landlords by sending e-mails from names with a high likelihood of association with either whites or African Americans. Generally, discrimination occurs against African American names; however, when the content of the e-mail messages insinuates home-seekers with high social class, discrimination is non-existent. Racial discrimination is more severe in neighborhoods that are near tipping points in racial composition, and for units that are part of a larger building.

JEL Classification: J1

Suggested Citation

Hanson, Andrew and Hawley, Zackary, Do Landlords Discriminate in the Rental Housing Market? Evidence from an Internet Field Experiment in U.S. Cities. 46th Annual AREUEA Conference Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1716990

Andrew Hanson (Contact Author)

Marquette University- Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
United States

Zackary Hawley

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad Street
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

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