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Ethnic Disadvantaging and Segregation on the Housing Markets

Project Management

Projekt Staff


Dr. Wolfgang und Anita Bürkle-Stiftung, Kirn

Research Questions and Objectives

The proposed project aims at studying the extent, forms and causes of discrimination and spacious segregation of migrants on the German housing market. Good housing conditions are a significant dimension of migrants’ social integration. It is well proven that migrants are disadvantaged in many areas on the housing market (e.g. rental prices). Furthermore, a pronounced spatial separation (segregation) between natives and migrants can be observed in many German cities. Theoretically feasible reasons for this development include socio-economic differences (e.g. different abilities to pay rental fees), different living preferences (e.g. different readiness to pay for high quality living space), but also discrimination of migrants and their lacking inclusion into helpful social networks. So far, the relative significance of the individual aspects is still unclear. Furthermore, the underlying causes, and above all the motifs for possible discrimination have not been sufficiently researched to allow for effective interventions.

The proposed project starts with a detailed stock-taking: comprehensive data on the housing market must be collected to allow for comprehensive analyses on the living situation and the causes of (spatial) inequalities. Based on this first move, a second step foresees surveys with experimental approaches that will allow for a more precise examination of the causes. A targeted design of the experiments (variation between interest in renting vs purchasing property, market conditions etc.) aims at studying the relevance of alternative theoretical explanations (such as prejudices vs economic profit making as a cause of discrimination).


Auspurg, K., A. Schneck, F. Thiel, 2020: Different samples, different results? How sampling techniques affect the results of field experiments on ethnic discrimination. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, doi: 10.1016/j.rssm.2019.100444