Racial Discrimination in the Sharing Economy: Evidence from a Field Experiment

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Racial Discrimination in the Sharing Economy: Evidence from a Field Experiment

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Title: Racial Discrimination in the Sharing Economy: Evidence from a Field Experiment
Author: Edelman, Benjamin Gordon; Luca, Michael; Svirsky, Daniel Alejandro

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Citation: Edelman, Benjamin G., Michael Luca, and Daniel Svirsky. "Racial Discrimination in the Sharing Economy: Evidence from a Field Experiment." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 9, no. 2 (April 2017): 1–22.
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Abstract: In an experiment on Airbnb, we find that applications from guests with distinctively African-American names are 16% less likely to be accepted relative to identical guests with distinctively White names. Discrimination occurs among landlords of all sizes, including small landlords sharing the property and larger landlords with multiple properties. It is most pronounced among hosts who have never had an African-American guest, suggesting only a subset of hosts discriminate. While rental markets have achieved significant reductions in discrimination in recent decades, our results suggest that Airbnb’s current design choices facilitate discrimination and raise the possibility of erasing some of these civil rights gains.
Published Version: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/app.20160213
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:33045458
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