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Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in Local Consumer Markets: Exploiting the Army’s Procedures for Matching Personnel to Duty Locations

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  • Antecol, Heather

    ()
    (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    ()
    (University of Melbourne)

Abstract

We use the exogenous assignment of Army personnel to duty locations to analyze the relationship between the characteristics of local markets and the propensity for consumers to be subjected to racial discrimination in their everyday commercial transactions. Overall, one in ten soldiers report that they or their families have experienced racial discrimination in finding non-government housing or in patronizing businesses in their local communities. Discrimination is related to a community’s demographic profile with white and Asian soldiers feeling more unwelcome in local businesses as the local population becomes more heavily weighted towards other groups. Moreover, there is evidence that increased economic vulnerability in the community results in more housing discrimination amongst minorities. While the evidence that increased competition reduces consumer market discrimination is mixed, it is clear that discrimination is related to the nature of a soldier’s interaction with the local community.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2389.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Urban Economics, 2008, 64(2), 496-509
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2389

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Keywords: discrimination; U.S. military; economics of minorities; consumer markets;

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  1. Richard W. Johnson & David Neumark, 1996. "Age Discrimination, Job Separation, and Employment Status of Older Workers: Evidence from Self-Reports," NBER Working Papers 5619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Antecol, Heather & Kuhn, Peter, 2000. "Gender as an Impediment to Labor Market Success: Why Do Young Women Report Greater Harm?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 702-28, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2010. "The effect of community-level socio-economic conditions on threatening racial encounters," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 517-529, November.
  2. Hanson, Andrew & Hawley, Zackary, 2011. "Do landlords discriminate in the rental housing market? Evidence from an internet field experiment in US cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2-3), pages 99-114, September.
  3. Caitlin Knowles Myers & Marcus Bellows & Hiba Fakhoury & Douglas Hale & Alexander Hall & Kaitlin Ofman, 2010. "Ladies first? A field study of discrimination in coffee shops," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(14), pages 1761-1769.
  4. Scott Carrell & Jonathan Zinman, 2008. "In harm’s way? Payday loan access and military personnel performance," Working Papers 08-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

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