Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thursday, January 06, 2005

What if "Privilege" is also a Detriment?

[note: given the weather, the nature of my commute, and my teaching commitment on Thursday, I'm posting this now rather than wait. There is more to come, however, whenever I get net access again.]

Suppose you are an Arab or a UAE national looking to rent an apartment, say, in Dubai. Because of your nationality, you have many privileges when it comes to landlord-tenant relations. The result is that

Some UAE nationals told Gulf News that they were told by real estate agents they will not rent out property to them because of the influence they are believed to wield....

"Give me any foreign passport, but not an Arab passport."

In one instance, a UAE national sent her (foreign) secretary to look for an apartment, but when the deception became known, the landlord refused to rent to her. According to this piece in the Gulf News,
The real estate agent explained that the owner of the complex did not rent out units to UAE nationals, fearing it would be difficult to evict them if there were problems.

People respond to incentives: if members of one group have privileges that might impose additional costs on landlords, it should not be surprising if some landlords try to avoid renting to members of that group.
[thanks to JC for the pointer.]
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