Inés Berniell with Nicolás Abbate, Joaquín Coleff, Luis Laguinge, Margarita Machelett, Mariana Marchionni, Julián Pedrazzi & Florencia Pinto ( 2024 ) – Discrimination Against Gay and Transgender People in Latin America: A Correspondence Study in the Rental Housing Market

We assess the extent of discrimination against gay and transgender individuals in the rental
housing markets of four Latin American countries. We conducted a large-scale field experiment building on the correspondence study methodology to examine interactions between
property managers and fictitious couples engaged in searches on a major online rental housing platform. We find no evidence of discrimination against gay male couples but we do find
strong discrimination against heterosexual couples with a transgender woman partner (trans
couples). Relative to heterosexual couples, trans couples receive 19% fewer responses, 27%
fewer positive responses, and 23% fewer invitations to showings. We also assess whether
the evidence is consistent with taste-based discrimination or statistical discrimination models by comparing response rates when couples signal being professionals with stable jobs
(quality-job signal). While we find no significant effect of the signal for heterosexual or gay
male couples, trans couples benefit from providing a strong labor market signal. Their callback, positive-response, and invitation rates increase by 25%, 36% and 29%, respectively.
These results suggest that discrimination against trans couples is consistent with statistical
discrimination. Moreover, we find no evidence of heterosexual couples being favored over
gay male couples, nor evidence of statistical discrimination for gay male or heterosexual