Rental Market Discrimination Against Gay and Transgender People in Latin America: A Correspondence Study

Last registered on March 07, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Rental Market Discrimination Against Gay and Transgender People in Latin America: A Correspondence Study
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009012
Initial registration date
March 07, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
March 07, 2022, 2:01 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
CEDLAS-UNLP

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Bank of Spain
PI Affiliation
CEDLAS-UNLP
PI Affiliation
CEDLAS-UNLP-CONICET
PI Affiliation
CEDLAS-UNLP

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-03-08
End date
2022-12-30
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
The aim of this research project is to identify whether there exists discrimination against gay and transgender individuals in rental markets of big cities in Latin America. To measure the extent of discrimination, we will implement a field experiment building on the correspondence study methodology (Bertrand and Mullainathan, 2004; Jowell and Prescott-Clarke, 1970; Riach and Rich, 1991). Guided by models of discrimination, we will test whether the empirical evidence is consistent with models of taste-based discrimination (Becker, 1957) or statistical discrimination (Arrow, 1973; Phelps 1972).
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Berniell, Inés et al. 2022. "Rental Market Discrimination Against Gay and Transgender People in Latin America: A Correspondence Study." AEA RCT Registry. March 07. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9012
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We plan to implement a correspondence-type study in the rental market in order to identify whether there exists discrimination against gay and transgender individuals in rental markets from Latin America Countries (LAC). We will also test whether the empirical evidence is consistent with models of taste-based discrimination or statistical discrimination.
Intervention Start Date
2022-03-28
Intervention End Date
2022-05-08

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary variable of interest is the response rate received by each tenant type. It will be defined using the following rules:

- No response

- Automatic response

- A response saying that the apartment, such as it was advertised, is not available: 1) The message can say that the apartment is not available without any attempt to continue the conversation, 2) or the agent could offer another apartment or an alternative, or the message shows a clear attempt to continue the conversation. 3) Finally, it could also be the case that the rental price of the apartment has changed.

- The apartment is available: 1) The message can imply that the apartment is available and provide more information about the apartment and/or the requirements for renting it, but do not mention the possibility of visiting it. 2) Or it could mention the possibility of visiting, although without making an effort to arrange the visit. 3) Finally, it could be that the message shows an effort from the agent/landlord to arrange a visit.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experimental design will use a correspondence-study approach. We will send inquiries to landlords or real estate agents showing interest in a rental unit and requesting to be contacted with more information (when the apartment could be visited). These messages will randomly vary the person’s sexual identity or his/her partner’s gender identity. More specifically, we will randomly assign the messages to heterosexual couples, same-sex couples, or a couple where one of the partners is a transgender man or woman. The inquiry will also vary its content in a second dimension, signaling different types of tenants (such as a high-labor income profession). This second variation will help distinguish between the type of discrimination. Using this approach we can control the perceived gender identity and sexual orientation of the tenant and their socio-economic status revealed to each landlord/agent.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done in the office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Simple randomization, within each city.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
The final sample size will depend on the number of available rental agencies posting rentals of apartments with no more than 3 bedrooms, in each city. Our goal is to have around 5000 units.
Sample size: planned number of observations
Our goal is to have around 5000 units (the unit is the rental agency to be contacted). However, the final number will depend on the number of apartments advertised at the moment of the intervention (we will send messages to all the agencies advertising a unit when we start the intervention). Sending two messages to each unit would lead to around 10000 observations.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The sample will be split in the same proportion between all the treatments: i.e. the same proportion of agents will be contacted by a heterosexual couple, a gay couple, a lesbian couple, and a couple with a trans partner.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
It will be defined after a pilot to be run in March, a few weeks before the intervention.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Comité de Ética en Investigación de la Universidad del Rosario
IRB Approval Date
2022-01-19
IRB Approval Number
CEI-UR 572-CS364