Disability Discrimination in the Italian Rental Housing Market: A Field Experiment with Blind Tenants

Luca Fumarco

Abstract

I test discrimination against blind tenants assisted by guide dogs in the Italian rental housing market by using fake application letters. I compare three fictitious household tenants: married couples, married couples where the wife is blind and owns a guide dog, and married couples where the normal-sighted wife owns a normal dog. I find that the households with a blind wife are invited less often to visit apartments they applied for, because of the presence of their guide dog; using the language of Italian and E.U. laws, this behavior is called indirect discrimination against disabled people. This result is robust. (JEL R21)