Ethnic discrimination in the Irish housing market: Evidence from two field experiments

4 Nov 2021
Dr. Egle Gusciute

On 4th November the ISS21 Migration and Integration Research Cluster hosted a seminar with Dr. Egle Gusciute (Department of Sociology and Criminology, UCC) on the theme of ethnic discrimination in the Irish rental housing market.

There is consistent evidence of ethnic/racial discrimination against ethnic minorities in the housing market across Europe.  In addition to greater challenges in securing accommodation, discrimination in the housing market has significant social and economic consequences for individuals and society.

In this seminar Dr. Gusciute presented findings from two field experiments in the Irish housing market and discussed the extent of ethnic discrimination in the Irish context. The experimental design involved creating fictitious applicants with different ethnic names. These applicants applied for vacant rental apartments advertised online and the rate of discrimination was measured by the responses received and invitations to view an apartment by each applicant. The first experiment examined ethnic discrimination towards Polish and Nigerian nationals as well as the presence of ‘ethnic hierarchy’. The findings suggest that that Irish applicants are more likely to be invited to view an apartment than both Polish and Nigerian applicants. In addition, Polish applicants are more likely to be invited to view an apartment than Nigerian applicants, which points to discrimination between minority groups. There is also evidence of gender discrimination with females receiving more invitations to view apartments than male applicants. Dr. Gusciute also presented the preliminary results from the second experiment in her research, which assesses the extent of discrimination faced in searching for accommodation by applicants with Muslim only and Irish/Muslim names.

Further details on the outcomes are presented in the article ‘Discrimination in the rental housing market: a field experiment in Ireland’ published in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2020.1813017  

For more on this story contact:

Dr. Egle Gusciute (

Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

Top Floor, Carrigbawn/Safari Building, Donovan Road, Cork, T12 YE30