Race Effects on Ebay

50 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2011  

Ian Ayres

Yale University - Yale Law School; Yale University - Yale School of Management

Mahzarin R. Banaji

Harvard University - Department of Psychology; Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

Christine Jolls

Yale Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 27, 2011

Abstract

We investigate the impact of seller race in a field experiment involving baseball card auctions on eBay. Photographs showed the cards held by either a dark-skinned/African-American hand or a light-skinned/Caucasian hand. Cards held by African-American sellers sold for approximately 20% ($0.90) less than cards held by Caucasian sellers, and the race effect was more pronounced in sales of minority player cards. Our evidence of race differentials is important because the on-line environment is well controlled (with the absence of confounding tester effects) and because the results show that race effects can persist in a thick real-world market such as eBay.

Suggested Citation

Ayres, Ian and Banaji, Mahzarin R. and Jolls, Christine, Race Effects on Ebay (September 27, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1934432 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1934432

Ian Ayres (Contact Author)

Yale University - Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-7101 (Phone)
203-432-2592 (Fax)

Yale University - Yale School of Management

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States

Mahzarin R. Banaji

Harvard University - Department of Psychology ( email )

33 Kirkland St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )

124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Christine Jolls

Yale Law School ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
203.432.1958 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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