Scapegoating and Discrimination in Times of Crisis: Evidence from Airbnb

23 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2022

See all articles by Michael Luca

Michael Luca

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Elizaveta Pronkina

Université Paris Dauphine

Michelangelo Rossi

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 3, 2022

Abstract

We present evidence that discrimination against Asian-American Airbnb users sharply increased at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a DiD approach, we find that hosts with distinctively Asian names experienced a 12 percent decline in guests relative to hosts with distinctively White names. In contrast, we do not see spikes in discrimination against Black or Hispanic hosts. Our results suggest that the rise in anti-Asian sentiment in 2020 translated to discrimination in economic activity, highlighting the ways in which scapegoating minority groups can shape markets. Our results also point to the role of platform design choices in enabling discrimination.

Keywords: Discrimination; Behavioral Economics; Market Design

JEL Classification: J15

Suggested Citation

Luca, Michael and Pronkina, Elizaveta and Rossi, Michelangelo, Scapegoating and Discrimination in Times of Crisis: Evidence from Airbnb (August 3, 2022). Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 23-012, Harvard Business Working Paper No. 23-012, Université Paris-Dauphine Research Paper No. 4187181, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4187181 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4187181

Michael Luca (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02163
United States

HOME PAGE: http://drfd.hbs.edu/fit/public/facultyInfo.do?facInfo=ovr&facId=602417

Elizaveta Pronkina

Université Paris Dauphine ( email )

Place du Maréchal de Tassigny
Paris, Cedex 16 75775
France

Michelangelo Rossi

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Economics ( email )

Calle Madrid 126
Getafe, 28903
Spain

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
137
Abstract Views
650
rank
284,396
PlumX Metrics