Ladies First? A Field Study of Discrimination in Coffee Shops
AbstractDespite anecdotal and survey evidence suggesting the presence of discrimination against customers in stores, restaurants and other small-transaction consumer markets, few studies exist that identify or quantify the nature of any unequal treatment. We provide evidence from a field study of wait times in Boston-area coffee shops that suggests that female customers wait an average of 20 seconds longer for their orders than do male customers even when controlling for gender differences in orders. We find that this differential in wait times is inverse to the proportion of employees who are female and directly related to how busy the coffee shop is at the time of the order. This supports the conclusion that the observed differential is driven at least in part by employee animus and/or statistical discrimination rather than unobserved heterogeneity in the purchasing behaviour of female customers.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Middlebury College, Department of Economics in its series Middlebury College Working Paper Series with number 0711.
Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
economics of gender and minorities; consumer and market discrimination;
Other versions of this item:
- 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.
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-10-06 (All new papers)
- NEP-EXP-2007-10-06 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2007-10-06 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-MKT-2007-10-06 (Marketing)
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