Rental Housing Discrimination and the Persistence of Ethnic Enclaves

34 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2011

See all articles by Mariano Bosch

Mariano Bosch

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

M. Angeles Carnero

Universidad de Alicante - Department of Economic Analysis

Lidia Farré

Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) - Institute for Economic Analysis; Universidad de Alicante

Abstract

We conduct a field experiment to show that discrimination in the rental market represents a significant obstacle for the geographical assimilation process by immigrants. We employ the Internet platform to identify vacant rental apartments in different areas of the two largest Spanish cities, Madrid and Barcelona. We send emails showing interest in the apartments and signal the applicants' ethnicity by using native and foreign-sounding names. We find that, in line with previous studies, immigrants face a differential treatment when trying to rent an apartment. Our results also indicate that this negative treatment varies considerably with the concentration of immigrants in the area. In neighborhoods with a low presence of immigrants the response rate is 30 percentage points lower for immigrants than for natives, while this differential disappears when the immigration share reaches 50%. We conclude that discriminatory practices in the rental housing market contribute to perpetuate the ethnic spatial segregation observed in large cities.

Keywords: immigration, discrimination, spatial segregation

JEL Classification: J15, J61

Suggested Citation

Bosch, Mariano and Carnero, M. Angeles and Farré, Lidia, Rental Housing Discrimination and the Persistence of Ethnic Enclaves. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5583. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1796538

Mariano Bosch (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

M. Angeles Carnero

Universidad de Alicante - Department of Economic Analysis ( email )

03080 Alicante
Spain

Lidia Farré

Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) - Institute for Economic Analysis ( email )

UAB Campus
E-08193 Bellaterra
Spain

Universidad de Alicante ( email )

Campus de San Vicente
Carretera San Vicente del Raspeig
San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante 03690
Spain

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