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Seller-Buyer Ethnic Matches: The Case Of Car Transactions At Two North American Auto Dealerships




Using personnel and transaction data obtained from two Canadian auto dealerships, we examine whether ethnic matches between salespersons and customers affectsales prices and the number of units sold by individual salespersons. Regarding prices, we detect neither premium price setting nor discounting among seller-buyer matches of the same ethnic groups relative to those of different ethnic groups. Regarding the number of units sold by individual salespersons, however, we find that, relative to customer demographics, salespersons sell larger quantities to customers of the same ethnic group. Moreover, we find that high-performing salespersons conduct more transactions with customers of the same ethnic group than low-performers, especially in months when business conditions are unfavorable.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:hitjec:v:53:y:2012:i:2:p:217-236

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Laura Giuliano & David I. Levine & Jonathan Leonard, 2009. "Manager Race and the Race of New Hires," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(4), pages 589-631, October.
    2. Harry J. Holzer & Keith R. Ihlanfeldt, 1998. "Customer Discrimination and Employment Outcomes for Minority Workers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 835-867.
    3. Jennifer L. Doleac & Luke C.D. Stein, 2013. "The Visible Hand: Race and Online Market Outcomes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(11), pages 469-492, November.
    4. John A. List, 2004. "The Nature and Extent of Discrimination in the Marketplace: Evidence from the Field," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 49-89.
    5. 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 304-321, June.
    6. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1996. "Dealer Price Discrimination in New Car Purchases: Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 622-654, June.
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    More about this item


    ethnicity; price discrimination; seller-buyer matches; car transaction; social network;

    JEL classification:

    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods


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