‘Two Gentlemen Sharing’: Rental Discrimination of Same-Sex Couples in Portugal

36 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2020

See all articles by Filipe Gouveia

Filipe Gouveia

Lund University, Students

Therese Nilsson

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Lund University - Department of Economics

Niclas Berggren

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); University of Economics, Prague - Faculty of Economics and Public Administration

Date Written: February 14, 2020

Abstract

We measure and analyze discriminatory behavior against same-sex couples trying to rent an apartment in Portugal. This is the first correspondence field experiment investigating discrimination against this minority group in Portugal, adding to a literature using this method to ascertain discriminatory behavior in the housing market. In our experiment, four type of applicants varying in gender (male and female) and modality (same and opposite sex) reply to Internet ads to express interest in renting an apartment in the metropolitan areas of Porto and Lisbon. All applicant couples are presented as married, stable and professional. The main finding is that male same-sex couples face significant discrimination: The probability of getting a positive reply is 7–8 percentage points, or 26 percent, lower for them compared to opposite-sex couples. The effect is even more negative in parishes where the population is older, and discrimination increases in magnitude over the rental value and the square meter price of apartments. However, and perhaps surprisingly, the risk of discrimination decreases with religiosity (up to a point) and the distance to the metropolitan center (up to a point). The results for female same-sex couples also show a sizable negative effect, with a 3 percentage-point, or 10 percent, lower probability of a positive response compared to opposite-sex couples, even though this difference is less precisely estimated. The present study extends the literature to a southern European setting and validates previous research documenting worse treatment of same-sex couples in the housing market. Interestingly, in spite of less positive attitudes to same-sex couples among the Portuguese public, the level of discrimination is comparable to that found in Sweden and lower than on the Irish short-term rental market. This arguably illustrates that attitudes and discriminatory behavior need not be closely aligned.

Keywords: Same-sex couples, Discrimination, Portugal, Field experiment, LGBT, Housing

JEL Classification: C93, D91, J15, R30

Suggested Citation

Gouveia, Filipe and Nilsson, Therese and Berggren, Niclas, ‘Two Gentlemen Sharing’: Rental Discrimination of Same-Sex Couples in Portugal (February 14, 2020). IFN Working Paper No. 1318, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3538197

Filipe Gouveia

Lund University, Students ( email )

Lund
Sweden

Therese Nilsson (Contact Author)

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Lund University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7082
S-220 07 Lund
Sweden
+46 46 222 46 43 (Phone)

Niclas Berggren

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.ifn.se/nb

University of Economics, Prague - Faculty of Economics and Public Administration ( email )

nám. W. Churchilla 4
Praha, 130 67
Czech Republic

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