Contexts and Conditions of Ethnic Discrimination: Evidence from a Field Experiment in German Housing MarketsISER External Seminars

People’s housing conditions and places of residence have serious impacts on individual living conditions and social stratification. Migrants, in particular, are often bound to the rental markets because they lack the financial resources to buy real estate. This article asks whether access to rental housing objects is restricted by ethnic discrimination. Theoretical considerations suggest three hypotheses governing conditions especially fostering the occurrence of discrimination: (1) In line with the concept of statistical discrimination, the discrimination rate is likely reduced when applicants signal a high occupational status and therefore a high financial standing. (2) Existing work on steering and customer discrimination suggests discrimination rates to be lowest in neighborhoods with a high proportion of migrant residents. (3) Both theoretical aspects, the taste of discrimination and statistical discrimination, should result in migrant applicants facing price discrimination, indicating that they end up paying a comparably higher rent. These hypotheses are analyzed using 637 e-mail correspondence tests for pairs of German and Turkish applicants in the rental housing market of a large German city and by combining this evidence with context information on the rental units and ethnic composition of neighborhoods.

Presented by:

Thomas Hinz (University of Konstanz)

Date & time:

29 Apr 2013 15:00 pm

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