EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The Silent Treatment: LGBT Discrimination in the Sharing Economy

Rishi Ahuja () and Ronan Lyons ()
Additional contact information
Rishi Ahuja: Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin

Economic Papers from Trinity College Dublin, Economics Department

Abstract: Online marketplaces were built with the implicit promise of reducing discrimination. Over time, though, online marketplaces have increasingly been designed to reduce anonymity as an exercise in trust building. While the reduction of anonymity can build trust, such design choices can also facilitate discrimination. This study is the first to examine whether there is discrimination against those in same-sex relationships (SSRs) in the sharing economy. Specifically, we examine whether SSRs face discrimination on the Airbnb platform in Dublin, Ireland, through a field experiment. We find that guests in implied male SSRs are approximately 20-30 percent less likely to be accepted than identical guests in implied 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, although male hosts and those with many listings are less likely to discriminate. Discrimination against male SSRs was observed least in the most desirable locations. The findings are not consistent with taste-based discrimination but, with little evidence for statistical discrimination, they raise something of a puzzle about the underlying source of discrimination against those in SSRs.

Keywords: discrimination; sharing economy; field experiment; Airbnb (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 R3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-exp, nep-mkt, nep-pay and nep-ure
Date: 2017-08
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://www.tcd.ie/Economics/TEP/2017/TEP1917.pdf

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:tcd:tcduee:tep1917

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Economic Papers from Trinity College Dublin, Economics Department Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Colette Angelov ().

 
Page updated 2019-04-15
Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduee:tep1917