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Conference Papers Year : 2005

Housing market discrimination, housing regulations and intermediaries

Etienne Wasmer


Housing and labor markets exhibit many similarities. First, information is imperfect. Tenant quality, like worker quality, is unobserved. Second, separation is costly and time consuming. The laws and regulation typically complicate or slow down the termination process of the contractual relationship and make it more costly for firms and landlords to fire an employee /evict a tenant. And finally, there are rigidities in nominal wages and rents. Adapting tools from labor theory, we attempt to understand how landlords wish to screen and possibly statistically discriminate against potential tenants. They do so when housing regulations are more stringent. If they have a "taste against discrimination" (the opposite of Becker's "taste for discrimination"), they are more likely to have recourse to agencies in order to outsource screening. Preliminary descriptive evidence of cross-country differences in housing regulations and housing market functioning is provided.
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Dates and versions

hal-01053551 , version 1 (12-09-2014)


  • HAL Id : hal-01053551 , version 1
  • SCIENCESPO : 2441/9023


Etienne Wasmer. Housing market discrimination, housing regulations and intermediaries. Expanding the Frontiers of Economics: session Interactions Between Urban Housing and Labor Markets, Jan 2005, Philadelphia, United States. pp.1-33. ⟨hal-01053551⟩
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