Cybersegregation in Dallas and Boston: Is Neil a More Desirable Tenant Than Tyrone or Jorge?
Samantha Friedman, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Gregory Squires, George Washington University
Chris Galvan, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Housing that is available via the internet is an increasingly important part of the housing market. Yet, little research has explored whether those with racially/ethnically identifiable names are treated differently by housing providers. This paper seeks to fill this void. Between January and June of 2009, housing audits were conducted of electronic advertisements made over the popular internet site, Craigslist. Identical inquiries were made by males with white-, black-, and Hispanic-sounding names in response to a random sample of rental-unit advertisements in the Dallas and Boston metropolitan areas. Preliminary results suggest that Neil is a more desirable tenant than Tyrone or Jorge. Significant disparities exist between testers with white-sounding names and those with black- or Hispanic-sounding names in their access to rental housing. When access involves potential contact with the provider, there appears to be more negative treatment against minorities, than on the other indicators.