Discrimination in the Austrian Rental Housing Market: The Effect of Information Concerning First and Second Generation Immigrant Status

27 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2024

See all articles by Doris Weichselbaumer

Doris Weichselbaumer

Johannes Kepler University Linz

Hermann Riess

Johannes Kepler University Linz

Abstract

In this study, we conduct an email correspondence test to examine ethnic discrimination against males with different immigration backgrounds (Serbian, Turkish/Muslim and Syrian/Muslim) in the Austrian rental housing market. In particular, we investigate the effect that immigrant generation has on callback chances. Property owners may perceive more recent immigrants as particularly “other” and fear that they will not be good tenants because, for example, they treat a property in an undesirable manner. We compare landlords’ replies to inquiries from immigrants of the first, first and a half, and second generation to those who do not provide respective information about their immigration background. We find substantial levels of ethnic discrimination, which – in the case that no information on immigrant generation is provided – is highest for applicants with a Syrian name, followed by those bearing a Turkish and Serbian name. When applicants specify their place of birth and upbringing, callback rates are highest for second generation immigrants and lowest for first generation immigrants. This suggests advantages for more acculturated applicants. Accommodation seekers with a Syrian name, who may otherwise be perceived as refugees, benefit the most from stating that they were born in Austria.

Keywords: ethnic discrimination, housing market, email correspondence experiment

Suggested Citation

Weichselbaumer, Doris and Riess, Hermann, Discrimination in the Austrian Rental Housing Market: The Effect of Information Concerning First and Second Generation Immigrant Status. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4698800 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4698800

Doris Weichselbaumer (Contact Author)

Johannes Kepler University Linz ( email )

Austria

Hermann Riess

Johannes Kepler University Linz ( email )

Austria

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