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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. Joshua D. Angrist & John H. Johnson & IV, 2000. "Effects of work-related absences on families: Evidence from the Gulf War," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(1), pages 41-58, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Caitlin Knowles Myers with assistance of Marcus bellows, Hiba Fakhoury, Douglas Hale, Alexander Hall, and Kaitlin Ofman*, 2007. "Ladies First? A Field Study of Discrimination in Coffee Shops," Middlebury College Working Paper Series, Middlebury College, Department of Economics 0711, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  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. Heather Antecol & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2008. "The Effect of Community-Level Socio-Economic Conditions on Threatening Racial Encounters," CEPR Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University 589, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  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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