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Discrimination in the Housing Market as an Impediment to European Labour Force Integration: the Case of Iceland

Davíð Freyr Björnsson, Fredrik Kopsch and Gylfi Zoega
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Davíð Freyr Björnsson: University of Iceland

Journal of International Migration and Integration, 2018, vol. 19, issue 3, No 18, 829-847

Abstract: Abstract Labour market integration, and the free movement of people, has been a key feature of the European Economic Area (EEA). In fact, the EEA states that the free movement of people is “perhaps the most important right for individuals, as it gives citizens of the 31 EEA countries the opportunity to live, work, establish business and study in any of these countries.” However, unless citizens within the EEA are granted equal possibilities, the free movement will be of less value. This paper sets out to study the role of the rental housing market, in particular from the perspective of equal possibilities between majority (domestic) and minority (foreign) groups in Iceland. With the largest minority group of the Icelandic workforce being Polish, it is important from an integration perspective to study potential differences between native and Polish workers in possibilities to enter the rental housing market. By conducting an Internet field experiment, we show that Polish men in fact face a more difficult situation on the rental housing market than others, which serves as an impediment to the free flow of labour for this group of immigrants.

Keywords: Discrimination; Labour migration; Housing market; Field experiment; Iceland; J15; J61; R31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1007/s12134-018-0574-0

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