Searching for a Roommate: A Correspondence Audit Examining Racial/Ethnic and Immigrant Discrimination among Millennials
41 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2019 Last revised: 26 Aug 2020
Date Written: August 25, 2020
Survey research finds that Millennials have less prejudiced views of racial/ethnic minorities than other generations, leading some to label Millennials as post-racial. However, attitudinal survey research may be subject to social desirability bias since it documents words instead of actions. Moreover, most audit studies focus on people who make hiring decisions or own rental property and are therefore often older than Millennials. This study uses a correspondence audit to investigate discrimination among Millennials via “roommate wanted” advertisements. We send over 4,000 emails and find a tiered pattern of discrimination against Asian (Indian and Chinese), Hispanic, and Black room-seekers. However, whether Asian and Hispanic room-seekers face significant discrimination varies based on whether they use predominantly White first names or traditional first names. Our findings shed light on the future of our racial system, expand our knowledge of discrimination beyond the traditional Black/White binary, and illustrate the persistence of anti-Blackness.
Keywords: race/ethnicity, immigration, inequality, correspondence audit, discrimination
JEL Classification: C93, J60, J70, J71, L85, R20
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