Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Are the Religiously Observant Discriminated Against in the Rental Housing Market? Experimental Evidence from Israel

Sansani, Shahar (2017): Are the Religiously Observant Discriminated Against in the Rental Housing Market? Experimental Evidence from Israel.

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Abstract

In this paper, I test for discrimination against the religiously observant in the Israeli rental housing market. I perform a correspondence study where half of the requests have a religious signal (‘basad’ written at the top of the request), while the other half do not. Because the requests are identical otherwise, differences in call-back rates represent the causal effect of writing ‘basad’ at the top of the request. I find that requests with a religious signal receive 12 percent less responses than requests with no such signal, with this differential being greater in cities with more left-leaning voters and when the contact person is female. For comparison, requests signaling individuals from the Former Soviet Union receive about the same percentage of call-backs as religious requests, while requests signaling an Arab individual receive significantly fewer call-backs than the other groups.

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