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The silent treatment: discrimination against same-sex relations in the sharing economy

Rishi Ahuja and Ronan Lyons ()

Oxford Economic Papers, 2019, vol. 71, issue 3, 564-576

Abstract: While online marketplaces in the sharing economy reduce anonymity to build trust, such design choices can facilitate discrimination. This study is one of the first to examine whether there is discrimination against those in same-sex relationships (SSRs) in the sharing economy. We examine whether SSRs face discrimination on the Airbnb platform in Dublin, Ireland, through a field experiment. We find that guests in male SSRs are 20–30 percentage points less likely to be accepted than otherwise identical guests in opposite-sex relationships (OSRs) and in female SSRs. This difference is driven by non-responses from hosts, not outright rejection, and persists regardless of a variety of host and location characteristics.

JEL-codes: J16 L83 Z30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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