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Agent Intermediation and Racial Price Differentials

Adam Nowak and Patrick Smith
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Adam Nowak: West Virginia University, Department of Economics
Patrick Smith: San Diego State University

No 17-21, Working Papers from Department of Economics, West Virginia University

Abstract: In most housing transactions the home buyer and seller do not meet, in which case the buyer's race is not revealed and the seller cannot discriminate against them. Despite this fact, previous studies estimate racial price differentials based on the race of the home buyer. In this study we identify the dimensions along which differential treatment occurs in housing markets. We show that home buyers disproportionately hire real estate agents of the same race and that the race of the agent, not the home buyer, is the primary mechanism of discrimination. The results of this study have important implications for fair housing policy.

Keywords: Housing; agent intermediation; racial discrimination; price differentials (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hme and nep-ure
Date: 2017-09
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