Do Landlords Discriminate in the Rental Housing Market? Evidence from an Interent Field Experiment in U.S. Cities
Format of Original
Journal of Urban Economics
This paper tests for racial discrimination in the rental housing market using matched-pair audits conducted via e-mail for rental units advertised on-line. We reveal home-seekers’ race to landlords by sending e-mails from names with a high likelihood of association with either whites or African Americans. Generally, discrimination occurs against African American names; however, when the content of the e-mail messages insinuates home-seekers with high social class, discrimination is non-existent. Racial discrimination is more severe in neighborhoods that are near “tipping points” in racial composition, and for units that are part of a larger building.