UGent @ Work external seminar 1 - Katrin Auspurg (Meet the PhD Jury)

26-11-2021 van 11:00 tot 12:30
Faculteitsraadzaal, Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde (Tweekerkenstraat 2, 9000 Gent) and MS Teams

Presentation prof. dr. Katrin Auspurg

Title: Understanding the ‘why’ and ‘when’ aspects of ethnic discrimination and segregation: A multifactorial experimental approach to explore mechanisms and conditions on the German housing market

Abstract: Many migrants are disadvantaged in the housing market and live segregated from majority populations in poorer neighborhoods. This has long been seen as a serious obstacle to their social integration. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms. We conducted multifactorial field and survey experiments to better understand possible underlying mechanisms: Does ethnic discrimination reinforce segregation, and if so, for what reasons? What role do neighborhood preferences play in causing residential ethnic segregation?

First, we conducted a large-scale field experiment (e-mail correspondence test) on ethnic discrimination in the German rental housing market. In 2015, we sampled about 5,000 housing offers from an internet platform, and applied to these offers with e-mails signaling a Turkish versus German background. Specific to our study is that we ran our experiments all over Germany, and that we used a multi-factorial experimental design: We varied not only the ethnicity, but also (the amount of information on) many other socio-economic characteristics of rental candidates. We find that in particular Turks with a low social status are discriminated, but less so in migrant neighborhoods. These findings suggest that discrimination indeed reinforces residential segregation: not only ethnic, but also social segregation.

Second, we conducted a survey experiment to examine preferences for segregation. One plausible explanation for the regional discrimination patterns observed in our field experiment is the incentive for landlords to discriminate based on customer preferences. To explore conditions for this mechanism, we conducted a multifactorial survey experiment on neighborhood preferences: Are potential renters willing to pay higher rents if they can avoid ethnically diverse neighborhoods? And if so, why do (certain groups of people) show a preference for segregation? We find that even highly educated individuals - when asked in a more subtle way than in standard research - show a strong preference for avoiding neighborhoods with a high proportion of Turks. However, this seems to be largely due not to a dislike of Turkish neighborhoods per se, but rather to a dislike of disintegrated neighborhoods.

Both studies illustrate how a multifactorial experimental approaches can help testing moderator and mediator variables. Exploring these variables seems central to answering the why and when questions that often interest us in researching mechanisms and interventions related to social inequalities.

Meeting with prof. dr. Katrin Auspurg

Additionally, prof. dr. Katrin Auspurg is open for (offline) one-on-one meetings on November 26th, 14.30–16.30h. She will be in ‘meeting room SPP5’. This may especially be an interesting opportunity for PhD students to discuss their work with prof. dr. Katrin Auspurg, who is an expert in the field of (ethnic) discrimination and an expert in setting up vignette experiments (she is known for her ‘vignette-experiment-bible Factorial Survey Experiments’). If you would be interested in meeting with her, please send an e-mail to before Sunday November 21st . Based on the interest in such meetings, he will allocate a time slot for you (so please keep your agenda open on November 26th between 14.30–16.30h). If demand for such meetings would be very high, he will work on a first come, first served basis.

MS Teams

Click here to join the seminar through MS Teams.

Met dank aan de Doctoral Schools