The Effect of Racial Discrimination on Locational Choice in the Rental Housing Market
Last registered on May 23, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The Effect of Racial Discrimination on Locational Choice in the Rental Housing Market
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003012
Initial registration date
May 21, 2018
Last updated
May 23, 2018 4:17 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Duke University
PI Affiliation
Duke University
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2018-05-21
End date
2018-08-24
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Over the past decade, a growing body of evidence has established the impact of neighborhood capital and pollution exposures on long-run economic outcomes, which elevates concern about whether certain groups are systematically disadvantaged by discriminatory steering into neighborhoods with greater challenges. Paired-tester audit experiments have revealed evidence of discrimination in the interactions between potential renters and property managers. This experiment evaluate the effects of discriminatory behavior in the rental housing market on the locational choice sets of renters in major markets of the United States. We will estimate the welfare effect of discrimination through discriminatory constraints on housing search, combining structurally estimated utility functions with experimental tests for differences in responses to inquiries on a widely-used online platform
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Christensen, Peter, Kay Jowers and Christopher Timmins. 2018. "The Effect of Racial Discrimination on Locational Choice in the Rental Housing Market." AEA RCT Registry. May 23. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3012/history/29965
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2018-05-21
Intervention End Date
2018-08-24
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
(1) Response rate by race
(2) Heterogeneity in response rate by applicant characteristics: gender, mother’s education level (high, middle, low)
(3) Heterogeneity in response rate by location attributes (pollution): particulate matter exposures, proximity to superfund sites, chemical toxics (RSEI), proximity to toxic release inventory facilities
(4) Heterogeneity in response rate by location attributes (neighborhood capital): violent crime, school quality, poverty rate, neighborhood amenities
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Response time -- Duration of lapse between inquiry and response
Length of response (message)
Positive/negative sentiment of message
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Our experiment utilizes a paired (tripled) experimental design.
Experimental Design Details
Our experiment utilizes a paired (tripled) experimental design. Responses from property managers will be captured in email (gmail address associated with each name), phone messages (individual phone numbers associated with each name), and text messages. The time stamp, message length, and sentiment of responses will be coded. The full set of 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom rental listings will be compiled for major housing markets in the United States as this is a relevant market segment for renters with families. Other market segments may also be pursued in future trials.
Randomization Method
The paired experimental design utilized in this study requires that inquiries for each listing are made from each of the three racial groups that we study. Immediately following compilation of the relevant listings in a given market, an inquiry will be sent for each using a randomly assigned name drawn from each of the 3 racial groups. Each rental apartment will therefore receive 3 separate inquiries in the course of an experimental trial. Listings are divided into 3 blocks to ensure that inquiries for the same listing will never be sent from two race groups on the same day. Inquiries will be sent at an interval of 2-10 minutes over the course of the 3 day period. The names and within each racial group are randomly assigned to a listing with equal probability and the sequence of inquiries is also randomly assigned.
Randomization Unit
individual real estate listing (property manager)
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
3600 listings (property managers)
Sample size: planned number of observations
3600 listings (property managers)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1200 listings White group, 1200 listings African American group, 1200 listings LatinX/Hispanic group,
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Power calculations: We utilize existing apartment listing data from the same online platform in a pre-complication of listings in Los Angeles to identify the sample size requirements for statistical power. We examine the MDE for tests of differences in response rates by group as well as the MDE for differences in the particular matter exposures at the location of listings and elementary school ratings for listings in the sample. All tests presented below assume 90% test power and .05 significance level. Our power calculations indicate that for: (1) A test of differential response rates in a pre-trial in Champaign, IL yielded a 46% response rate to African American names and a 66% response rate to white names. Given a sample of 469 responses in group A (white control), 469 responses in the African American group, and 469 responses in the LatinX/Hispanic group, the MDE for a test of differences in average responses between either minority group and the white group of listing responses is 5 percentage points. Given a sample of 118 responses in group A (white control), 118 responses in the African American group, and 118 responses in the African American group, the MDE for a test of differences in average responses between either minority group and the white group of listing responses is 10 percentage points. This is also the MDE for tests of differential responses rates by gender groups and by mother’s education groups (high/medium/low). (2) Particulate matter: The distribution of particulate exposures in the rental listings sample has a mean of 12.11 and the standard deviation of 0.311. Given a sample of 542 responses in the White (non-minority) group, 542 responses in the African American group, and 542 responses in the LatinX/Hispanic group, the MDE for a test of differences in average particulate matter exposures of listing responses between any two groups is .025. Given a sample of 136 responses in the African American group, 136 responses in the LatinX/Hispanic group, and 136 responses in the African American group, the MDE for a test of differences in average particulate matter exposures of listing responses between any two groups is .05. (3) Elementary Education Ratings (Great Schools): The distribution of elementary school ratings in the rental listings sample has a mean of 4.94 and the standard deviation of 3.09. Given a sample of 201 responses in the White (non-minority) group, 201 responses in the African American group, and 201 responses in the LatinX/Hispanic group, the MDE for a test of differences in average elementary school ratings of listing responses between any two groups is .5. Given a sample of 90 responses in the African American group, 90 responses in the LatinX/Hispanic group, and 90 responses in the African American group, the MDE for a test of differences in average particulate matter exposures of listing responses between any two groups is .75.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2017-12-17
IRB Approval Number
18381
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers