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Some Thoughts on the Relevance of Customer Behavior to Discrimination Law: Who Counts as A ‘Customer’?

9 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2017  

Patrick S. Shin

Suffolk University Law School

Date Written: March 13, 2017

Abstract

In their article, “Discrimination by Customers,” 102 Iowa L. Rev 223 (2016), Katharine Bartlett and Mitu Gulati challenge the law’s asymmetric treatment of “firms” and “customers.” In this brief response, I argue that the asymmetry makes sense if (1) discrimination law is primarily about distributive justice; and (2) customers are marketplace actors who lack institutional power to distribute jobs, incomes, or essential goods and services. While Bartlett and Gulati largely ignore the first assumption, they provide persuasive reasons for rejecting the second.

Suggested Citation

Shin, Patrick S., Some Thoughts on the Relevance of Customer Behavior to Discrimination Law: Who Counts as A ‘Customer’? (March 13, 2017). Iowa Law Review Online, Vol. 102, p. 166, 2017; Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 17-7. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2932422

Patrick S. Shin (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States
617-573-8182 (Phone)
617-305-3090 (Fax)

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