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Homophobia and the home search: Rental market discrimination against same-sex couples in rural and urban housing markets

Joshua Hellyer

Journal of Housing Economics, 2021, vol. 51, issue C

Abstract: Previous research has found discrimination against same-sex couples in the rental housing market. However, no studies have tested in rural markets, even though anti-LGBT attitudes may be more prevalent there due to conservative social norms and less frequent contact with LGBT people. I study whether the rate of discrimination against same-sex couples differs between rural and urban rental housing markets. I use a matched correspondence test design, sending email inquiries about the availability of rental homes to 445 landlords in 28 markets posing as either a same-sex or opposite-sex couple. Results compare rates of positive response between these groups, suggesting that landlords do not respond at substantially different rates to inquiries from same-sex or opposite-sex couples in rural or urban markets, nor do response rates differ between states with anti-discrimination ordinances and those without.

Keywords: Discrimination; Same-sex couples; Rural; Rental housing; Email correspondence study (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jhe.2020.101744

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