The Visible Hand: Race and Online Market Outcomes
AbstractWe examine the effect of race on market outcomes by selling iPods through local online classified advertisements throughout the United States in a year-long field experiment. Each ad features a photograph of the product being held by a dark- or light-skinned (âblackâ or âwhiteâ) hand. To provide context, we also consider a group of sellers against whom buyers might statistically discriminate for similar reasons: white sellers with wrist tattoos. Black sellers do worse than white sellers on a variety of market outcome measures: They receive 13% fewer responses and 17% fewer offers. These effects are strongest in the Northeast, and are similar in magnitude to those associated with the display of a wrist tattoo. Conditional on receiving at least one offer, black sellers also receive 2â4% lower offers, despite the selfselectedâand presumably less biasedâpool of buyers. In addition, buyers corresponding with black sellers exhibit lower trust: They are 17% less likely to include their name in e-mails, 44% less likely to accept delivery by mail, and 56% more likely to express concern about making a long-distance payment. We find evidence that black sellers suffer particularly poor outcomes in thin markets; it appears that discrimination may not âsurviveâ in the presence of significant competition among buyers. Furthermore, black sellers do worst in the most racially isolated markets and markets with high property crime rates, consistent with channels through which we might expect statistical discrimination to operate.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.
Volume (Year): 123 (2013)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Office of the Secretary-General, School of Economics and Finance, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AL, UK
Phone: +44 1334 462479
Web page: http://www.res.org.uk/
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Jennifer L. Doleac & Luke C.D. Stein, 2011. "The Visible Hand: Race and Online Market Outcomes," Discussion Papers 10-025, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
- Jennifer L. Doleac & Luke C.D. Stein, 2010. "The Visible Hand: Race and Online Market Outcomes," Discussion Papers 09-015, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ayres, Ian & Siegelman, Peter, 1995. "Race and Gender Discrimination in Bargaining for a New Car," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 304-21, June.
- John M. Nunley & Mark F. Owens & R. Stephen Howard, 2010. "The Effects of Competition and Information on Racial Discrimination: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Working Papers 201007, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
- John A. List, 2004.
"The Nature and Extent of Discrimination in the Marketplace: Evidence from the Field,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 49-89, February.
- John List, 2004. "The nature and extent of discrimination in the marketplace: Evidence from the field," Natural Field Experiments 00299, The Field Experiments Website.
- Nardinelli, Clark & Simon, Curtis, 1990. "Customer Racial Discrimination in the Market for Memorabilia: The Case of Baseball," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 575-95, August.
- Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226041162, August.
- Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003.
"Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination,"
NBER Working Papers
9873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
- Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are emily and greg more employable than lakisha and jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination," Natural Field Experiments 00216, The Field Experiments Website.
- Morten Hedegaard & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2014.
"The Price of Prejudice,"
14-05, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Michael Ewens & Bryan Tomlin & Liang Choon Wang, .
"Statistical Discrimination or Prejudice? A Large Sample Field Experiment,"
GSIA Working Papers
2012-E37, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
- Michael Ewens & Bryan Tomlin & Liang Choon Wang, 2014. "Statistical Discrimination or Prejudice? A Large Sample Field Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 119-134, March.
- Michael Ewens & Bryan Tomlin & Liang Choon Wang, 2012. "Statistical Discrimination or Prejudice? A Large Sample Field Experiment," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 23-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
- repec:hal:journl:hal-00745109 is not listed on IDEAS
- repec:hal:cesptp:hal-00745109 is not listed on IDEAS
- von Essen, Emma & Karlsson, Jonas Karlsson, 2013. "A matter of transient anonymity: Discrimination by gender and foreignness in online auctions," Research Papers in Economics 2013:6, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
- Nunley, John M. & Owens, Mark F. & Howard, R. Stephen, 2011. "The effects of information and competition on racial discrimination: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 670-679.
- John M. Nunley & Adam Pugh & Nicholas Romero & Richard Alan Seals, Jr., 2014. "An Examination of Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market for Recent College Graduates: Estimates from the Field," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2014-06, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
- Benjamin Edelman & Micahel Luca, 2014. "Digital Discrimination: The Case of Airbnb.com," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-054, Harvard Business School.
- Owan, Hideo & Tsuru, Tsuyoshi & Uehara, Katsuhito, 2012. "Seller-Buyer Ethnic Matches: The Case Of Car Transactions At Two North American Auto Dealerships," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 53(2), pages 217-236, December.
- Mujcic, Redzo & Frijters, Paul, 2013. "Still Not Allowed on the Bus: It Matters If You're Black or White!," IZA Discussion Papers 7300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Wojtek Przepiorka, 2012. "Ethnic discrimination and signals of trustworthiness in an online market: Evidence from two field experiments," Discussion Papers 2012002, University of Oxford, Nuffield College.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.