Minorities and property values: Evidence from residential buildings in Israel

Yael Elster*, Noam Zussman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study estimates, for the first time, individuals valuation of living in a building with a member of a minority, by exploiting unique restricted data on about a third of Israel's neighborhoods. We rely on the hedonic approach and use a difference-in-differences identification strategy, comparing nearby buildings that experienced either early or late entry of minorities. We find that house prices declined by 2–3% after the first move-in of Israelis of Ethiopian origin or ultra-Orthodox Jews. Our analysis shows that New-immigrants only significantly affect prices during a massive migration wave (-10%) and indicate that Israeli Arabs do not affect prices. Results are not driven by (a) the socio-demographic profile of the minorities who enter, (b) the difference between their profile and the existing residents profile, (c) buyers and sellers profiles after the first minority entrance or (d) neighborhood characteristics. The findings support the hypothesis of segregation due to discrimination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103525
JournalJournal of Urban Economics
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Housing market
  • Israel
  • Minorities
  • Residential segregation


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