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Caroline Schaerer and Andrea Baranzini

tion level since both in Geneva and Zurich they pay on average a higher monthly rent than the Swiss with low education: 5.8 per cent more in Zurich and even 6.5 per cent more in Geneva. That hints at discrimination. In fact, there might even be discrimination between two groups when the group enjoying lesser comfort on average, say group Y, also pays less rent on average. That would be the case if the rent compensation for group Y members is less than what the group X members, who also occupy dwellings of lesser comfort, get.

Obviously, a formal model relating residential quality to price is necessary in order to identify discrimination on the housing market, i. e. whether members of some pay a higher price than those of another group for dwellings possessing the same characteristics. Such a model based on the hedonic price approach has been estimated in a companion paper by Baranzini et al. (2008) and in Schaerer (2008). They found signs of discrimination in terms of living conditions against foreigners in the Geneva housing market, while some signs of discrimination in terms of living conditions related to the education level appeared in Zurich.



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