Discrimination in the real estate rental market: the case of Poland in a mixed methods perspective. (RentMaD)


The full-scale invasion of Russia, which affected the entire country on 24.02.2023, resulted in a rapid influx of Ukrainian citizens into the European Union. Poland is the so-called New Immigration Country (Górny and Kaczmarczyk, 2020) in which Ukrainian citizens, prior to 2022, constituted the largest migrant minority. This situation has created key challenges not only in terms of hosting refugees, providing them with adequate means of subsistence, health care or education, but also long-term accommodation. Economic analyses show that, “the influx of refugees and the declining creditworthiness of Poles caused a revival in the rental market in the first half of this year”; (Evaluer Index IH, 2022; Businessinsider, 2022).

The law on assistance to citizens of Ukraine dated 12.03.2022 (and its amendments) not only regulates access of these persons to the Polish labour market, it also focuses on facilitating their access to rented accommodation. As of March 2023, support for accommodation will decrease, which may represent another wave of pressure on the rental market.

The proposed project aims to investigate landlords’ preferences towards potential tenants and the general conditions of discrimination in the rental market in Poland, taking into account the circumstances of the mass influx of people from Ukraine after 24.02.2022. The project distinguishes between two main discrimination mechanisms: taste-based discrimination (TBD) and statistical discrimination (SD). TBD is characterised by the fact that it describes players’ behaviour based on externally formed preferences towards the groups they with whom they interact. Behaviour is shaped by preferences that disadvantage certain national, ethnic or gender groups. SD occurs when a person is judged by the average characteristics of the group to which they belong, rather than on the basis of individual characteristics.


This project applies a novel research methodology, combining field experiments, which will involve creating fictional applicants seeking accommodation with quantitative and qualitative methods (mixed methods approach): in-depth interviews with key stakeholders (e.g., estate agency staff or landlords), content analysis landlords), analysis of the content of the advertisements or secondary analysis of the foundational data. The experiment fieldwork will involve a telephone response from a representative of a particular nationality group (5 groups, with one man and one woman in each) to a posted advertisement. A multidimensional methodological approach makes it possible to verify the results provided by single methodological tools, giving the most comprehensive and coherent picture of the problem.


2023 - 2024

Source of funding

IDUB New Ideas