Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Many urban sociologists do not adequately address ingrained systemic forms of racism

that exist in society today, such as the effects that racially identifiable names representing the larger idea of racial bias have on different social processes. This paper investigates racial housing discrimination in Chicago through analyzing the affect that racially identifiable names have on the home renting process. I conducted a field experiment in which I inquired about the availability of 96 properties throughout various locations in Chicago. Specifically, I created four email addresses linked to four racially identifiable names and sent the exact same fictitious email script from all four email addresses to home renters and then recorded and analyzed the responses I received. This study found that emails sent to home renters with distinctively African-American names were roughly 9% less likely to get a “yes” response to their email request than the White names. This paper looked to answer the question of whether or not racially identifiable names have any effect on the home renting process with special attention to racial bias. This paper builds off of the methodology of Bertrand and Mullainathan’s (2004) field experiment combined with Edelman, Luca, and Svirsky’s (2016) work.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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