Housing Discrimination and the Toxics Exposure Gap in the United States: Evidence from the Rental Market

46 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2020

See all articles by Peter Christensen

Peter Christensen

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ignacio Sarmiento-Barbieri

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Christopher Timmins

Duke University - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 2020

Abstract

Local pollution exposures disproportionately impact minority households, but the root causes remain unclear. This study conducts a correspondence experiment on a major online housing platform to test whether housing discrimination constrains minority access to housing options in markets with significant sources of airborne chemical toxics. We find that renters with African American or Hispanic/LatinX names are 41% less likely than renters with White names to receive responses for properties in low-exposure locations. We find no evidence of discriminatory constraints in high-exposure locations, indicating that discrimination increases relative access to housing choices at elevated exposure risk.

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Suggested Citation

Christensen, Peter and Sarmiento-Barbieri, Ignacio and Timmins, Christopher D., Housing Discrimination and the Toxics Exposure Gap in the United States: Evidence from the Rental Market (February 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w26805, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3547153

Peter Christensen (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

601 E John St
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

Ignacio Sarmiento-Barbieri

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

HOME PAGE: http://https://ignaciomsarmiento.github.io/

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

Urbana-Champaign, IL
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.illinois.edu/~ignacio

Christopher D. Timmins

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States
919-660-1809 (Phone)
919-684-8974 (Fax)

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