Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Disability Discrimination in the Rental Housing Market – A Field Experiment on Blind Tenants

Fumarco, Luca (2015): Disability Discrimination in the Rental Housing Market – A Field Experiment on Blind Tenants.

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Abstract

In this study, I show that with the appropriate experimental strategy, a correspondence test can be adapted to investigate disability discrimination in the rental housing market. I focus on discrimination against blind tenants assisted by guide dogs in Italy and obtain very robust results. The utilization of three fictitious household tenants (that is, a married couple, a married couple with a blind wife who owns a guide dog, and a married couple where the wife is normal sighted and owns a pet dog) allows me to investigate whether discrimination is due to the blindness or to the guide dog. I find that apartment owners discriminate blind tenants because of the presence of the guide dog alone. According to the Italian law, this is indirect discrimination, which in the US corresponds to the refusal to provide reasonable accommodation.

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