The Supply Side of Discrimination: Evidence from the Labor Supply of Boston Taxi Drivers

76 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2018 Last revised: 30 Apr 2019

Date Written: 2018-06-01

Abstract

This paper investigates supply-side discrimination in the labor market for Boston taxi drivers. Using data on millions of trips from 2010-2015, I explore whether the labor supply behavior of taxi drivers differs by the gender, racial/ethnic, or age composition of Boston neighborhoods. I find that disparities in shift hours due to neighborhood demographics exist even when differences in local earnings opportunities are taken into account. I observe heterogeneity in the amount that drivers discriminate and find that this discrimination is primarily statistical rather than taste-based. As drivers gain experience and learn to better anticipate wage variation, discrimination decreases.

Keywords: discrimination, labor supply, Boston taxis, wage elasticity

JEL Classification: J22, J31, J71, L91

Suggested Citation

Jackson, Osborne, The Supply Side of Discrimination: Evidence from the Labor Supply of Boston Taxi Drivers (2018-06-01). FRB of Boston Working Paper No. 18-2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3197606

Osborne Jackson (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston ( email )

600 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02210
United States

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