Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in Local Consumer Markets: Exploiting the Army's Procedures for Matching Personnel to Duty Locations

45 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2006

See all articles by Heather Antecol

Heather Antecol

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: October 16, 2006

Abstract

We use the exogenous assignment of Army personnel to duty locations to analyze the relationship between the characteristics of local markets and the propensity for consumers to be subjected to racial discrimination in their everyday commercial transactions. Overall, one in ten soldiers report that they or their families have experienced racial discrimination in finding non-government housing or in patronizing businesses in their local communities. Discrimination is related to a community's demographic profile with white and Asian soldiers feeling more unwelcome in local businesses as the local population becomes more heavily weighted towards other groups. Moreover, there is evidence that increased economic vulnerability in the community results in more housing discrimination amongst minorities. While the evidence that increased competition reduces consumer market discrimination is mixed, it is clear that discrimination is related to the nature of a soldier's interaction with the local community.

Keywords: Consumer Markets, Discrimination, U.S. Military, Economics of Minorities

JEL Classification: J15, D12, D40

Suggested Citation

Antecol, Heather and Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in Local Consumer Markets: Exploiting the Army's Procedures for Matching Personnel to Duty Locations (October 16, 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2389. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=938036

Heather Antecol (Contact Author)

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance ( email )

500 E. Ninth Street
Claremont, CA 91711
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney ( email )

606 Social Sciences Bldg. (A02)
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
61435061387 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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