Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

CAFO Working Papers,
Linnaeus University, Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), School of Business and Economics

No 2007:1: Discrimination in the housing market — a field experiment on the internet

Ali Ahmed () and Mats Hammarstedt ()
Additional contact information
Ali Ahmed: Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), Postal: Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), Dept of Economics and Statistics, School of Management and Economics, Växjö University , SE 351 95 Växjö, Sweden
Mats Hammarstedt: Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), Postal: Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), Dept of Economics and Statistics, School of Management and Economics, Växjö University , SE 351 95 Växjö, Sweden

Abstract: This paper studies ethnic and gender discrimination in the housing market in Sweden with the help of a field experiment on the internet. By letting three testers, one with a typical male Swedish name, one with a typical female Swedish name, and one with a typical male Arabic/Muslim name apply for vacant rental apartments advertised by landlords on the internet, we explore the incidence of discrimination in the choice by landlords to invite applicants to further contacts and/or to a showing of the apartment. Our findings are straightforward. The results suggest that the Arabic/Muslim male got far fewer call backs, inquires and showings for each application that our three applicants send out. Our observations also indicate that women meet with less difficulties in finding an apartment than men. Thus, ethnic as well as gender discrimination occurs in the housing market.

Keywords: Discrimination; Field experiments; Housing market; Internet

JEL-codes: J71; R21

26 pages, May 2, 2007

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