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How does ethnic discrimination on the housing market differ across neighborhoods and real estate agencies?

Abel Ghekiere and Pieter-Paul Verhaeghe

Journal of Housing Economics, 2022, vol. 55, issue C

Abstract: Ethnic discrimination proves to be a persistent problem on the private rental market. However, little attention has been paid to contexts that might impact discrimination on the housing market, partly due to the fact that these factors have not been integrated into a comprehensive study. We aim to investigate whether the types of discriminatory behavior vary and/or are moderated by three types of contextual factors: (1) dwelling indicators, such as type of dwelling and price category; (2) neighborhood indicators, such as socioeconomic and ethnic composition of the neighborhood; and – to the best of our knowledge the first time in research - (3) real estate agency indicators, such as the gender structure and size of the agency. For this purpose, we made use of data from 2,014 matched correspondence tests on ethnic discrimination among 493 real estate agencies in Brussels Capital Region in Belgium. Our findings suggest that candidates of North African origin face discrimination when searching for an apartment to rent. We also found that discrimination is lower in poorer and more ethnically mixed neighborhoods and higher in smaller and male-dominated real estate offices. We call for a bigger focus on both spatial and organizational context in research on discrimination.

Keywords: Ethnic discrimination; Housing market; Correspondence tests (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jhe.2021.101820

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