Does the origin of the seller matter? Causal evidence from real-estate advertisements

Anthony Lepinteur
University of Luxembourg

Giorgia Menta
Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) & University of Luxembourg

Sofie R. Waltl
Vienna University of Economics and Business & Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)


Participants to an online study in Luxembourg are presented fake real-estate advertisements and tasked to make an offer to the shown properties. A random subset is also shown sellers’ names that are strongly framed to signal their origins. Our randomised procedure allows us to conclude that, keeping everything else constant, sellers with African-sounding surnames are systematically offered lower prices. Our most conservative estimates suggest that the average racial penalty stemming from the demand-side of the housing market is equal to 22,000 euros. Last, we show that this penalty hides important differences across respondents: it is null for the youngest and most educated ones, as well as for those without any personal ties to the African diaspora, but can amount up to around 65,000 euros for those above 40 years of age and without post-secondary education.

JEL Codes: J15, R21, R31.
Keywords: Racial Discrimination, Real Estate, Randomised Online Experiment, Luxembourg.

This research benefits from funding by the FNR Luxembourg National Research Fund, CORE Grant No. 3886 (ASSESS). The study has been pre-registered on the Open Science Framework (OSF) platform (component “Discrimination and the Housing Market”).


Presentations (incl. scheduled): [Workshop on Residential Housing Markets: Perceptions and Measurement, Luxembourg][National Bank of Slovakia Research Seminar][The University of Queensland][The University of New South Wales]