Social and Ethnic Differences in Residential Choices
The task of this project is to explain unequal residential choices of different ethnic and social groups in Germany. A household's position on the housing market is crucial for its member's integration into a society and influences their life chances. While a number of studies give hints of causes for residential concentration along ethnic or social dimensions on a macro level, the actual processes of the underlying actions have rarely been examined: the residential choices of individual households. Research starts with a general theoretical model. It is assumed that residential choices are the result of several processes depending on households' economic, social and cultural resources. Households only consider a limited number of residences, differ in their search behavior und are able to realize their preferences in varying degrees. Systematic differences in those steps of residential choice influence the direction of the eventual choice and can be responsible for qualitative and spatial differences. The model is then tested empirically by choosing a medium-sized city in Germany. Households will be asked about realized and planned moves. We will particularly address the question whether ethnic differences can be explained by resources alone or if ethnic preferences, perceived discrimination and different search strategies play an additional role.
The project is currently in the stage of final data preparation and analysis. Survey data of 1,600 face-to-face interviews with households of Turkish origin and native Germans in the city of Mannheim are used to explain residential choices and how these lead to ethnic and social residential segregation.