Some Thoughts on the Relevance of Customer Behavior to Discrimination Law: Who Counts as A ‘Customer’?
9 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 13, 2017
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.
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