Subtle Discrimination in the Rental Housing Market: Evidence from E-mail Correspondence Landlords

Andrew Hanson, Marquette University
Zackary Hawley, Georgia State University
Aryn Taylor, Ohio Wesleyan University

Journal of Housing Economics, Vol. 20, No. 4 (2011): 276-284. DOI.


We find that landlords practice subtle discrimination in the rental housing market through the use of language associated with describing and viewing a unit, inviting further correspondence, making a formal greeting, and using polite language when replying to e-mail inquiries from a white name more often than to an African American name, they also send longer e-mails and respond quicker to white names.