The Visible Hand: Race and Online Market Outcomes

24 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2013

See all articles by Jennifer L. Doleac

Jennifer L. Doleac

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics

Luke C.D. Stein

Arizona State University (ASU) - Finance Department

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2013

Abstract

We examine the effect of race on market outcomes by selling iPods through local online classified advertisements throughout the US. Each advertisement features a photograph including a dark or light‐skinned hand, or one with a wrist tattoo. Black sellers receive fewer and lower offers than white sellers, and the correspondence with black sellers indicates lower levels of trust. Black sellers' outcomes are particularly poor in thin markets (suggesting that discrimination may not ‘survive’ competition among buyers) and those with the most racial isolation and property crime (consistent with channels through which statistical discrimination might operate).

Suggested Citation

Doleac, Jennifer L. and Stein, Luke C.D., The Visible Hand: Race and Online Market Outcomes (November 2013). The Economic Journal, Vol. 123, Issue 572, pp. F469-F492, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2360358 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecoj.12082

Jennifer L. Doleac (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics ( email )

5201 University Blvd.
College Station, TX 77843-4228
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jenniferdoleac.com/

Luke C.D. Stein

Arizona State University (ASU) - Finance Department ( email )

W. P. Carey School of Business
PO Box 873906
Tempe, AZ 85287-3906
United States
480-965-9412 (Phone)
480-965-8539 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.lukestein.com

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