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

  • Antecol, Heather

    ()

    (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    ()

    (University of Melbourne)

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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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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  12. Page Marianne, 1995. "Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in Urban Housing Markets: Evidence from a Recent Audit Study," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 183-206, September.
  13. Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," NBER Working Papers 7469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Ondrich, Jan & Stricker, Alex & Yinger, John, 1999. "Do Landlords Discriminate? The Incidence and Causes of Racial Discrimination in Rental Housing Markets," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 185-204, September.
  15. 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 622-54, June.
  16. Choi, Seok Joon & Ondrich, Jan & Yinger, John, 2005. "Do rental agents discriminate against minority customers? Evidence from the 2000 Housing Discrimination Study," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-26, March.
  17. Yinger, John, 1997. "Cash in Your Face: The Cost of Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in Housing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 339-365, November.
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  23. 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 304-21, June.
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