Do Landlords Discriminate? The Incidence and Causes of Racial Discrimination in Rental Housing Markets

Jan Ondrich, Alex Stricker, John Yinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Discrimination in housing markets occurs when equally qualified people are treated differently because of their membership in a particular group. This study focuses on racial and ethnic discrimination in qualitative actions by landlords, such as making an advertised housing unit available for inspection by a customer. The data come from the Housing Discrimination study, which conducted over 1500 rental housing audits in 25 metropolitan areas in 1989. Each audit consists of a visits to a landlord by a white person and either a black or Hispanic person with similar socio-economic characteristics. Using Chamberlain's fixed-effect logic estimation, we develop a nationally representative measure of the incidence of discrimination in landlord behavior and conduct hypothesis tests on the incidence and causes of discrimination. The results indicate widespread discrimination across several types of landlord behavior and support the hypotheses that landlords discriminate both out of personal prejudice and in response to the prejudice of present and future white clients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-204
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Housing Economics
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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