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Ethnic Discrimination on an Online Marketplace of Vacation Rental

Listed author(s):
  • Laouénan, Morgane

    (CNRS, Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne, Sciences-Po LIEPP)

  • Rathelot, Roland

    (University of Warwick, CEPR, CAGE)

We use data from an online marketplace of vacation rentals (Airbnb) collected in 19 major cities in North America and Europe to measure discrimination against ethnicminority hosts. This market has three interesting features: the existence of a detailed reviewing system, the high frequency of transactions and the panel dimension of the data. Using the fact that ratings provide potential guests with information about the quality of a listing, we build a credible measure of statistical discrimination, following a strategy a la ` Altonji and Pierret (2001). Hosts from a minority ethnic group charge 16% less than other hosts in the same cities. Controlling for a rich set of characteristics reduces the ethnic price gap to 3.2%. An additional review increases the daily price more for minority than for majority hosts. Estimating the parameters of a theoretical pricing model, we find that statistical discrimination accounts for most of the price differential: 2.5 percentage points.Keywords: ethnic discrimination, statistical discrimination, rental market JEL Classification: J15, L85

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File URL: https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/318-2017_rathelot.pdf
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Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 318.

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Date of creation: 2017
Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:318
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  1. Manuel F. Bagues & Mauro Sylos Labini, 2009. "Do Online Labor Market Intermediaries Matter? The Impact of AlmaLaurea on the University-to-Work Transition," NBER Chapters,in: Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, pages 127-154 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  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 Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, 2001. "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 203-232, February.
  5. 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.
  6. David H. Autor & David Scarborough, 2008. "Does Job Testing Harm Minority Workers? Evidence from Retail Establishments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 219-277.
  7. 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.
  8. Agrawal, Ajay & Lacetera, Nicola & Lyons, Elizabeth, 2016. "Does standardized information in online markets disproportionately benefit job applicants from less developed countries?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 1-12.
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