Laouenan uses data from an online market of vacation rentals to measure the ethnic
price discrimination towards properties' owners and to distinguish statistical from
taste-based discrimination. Following a strategy à la Farber & Gibbons (1996), Altonji
& Pierret (2001), Laouenan takes advantage of the panel dimension of data and of the
existence of a detailed reviewing system to measure the influence of better signals
on prices. Controlling on observable characteristics, the ethnic price gap decreases
with the number of reviews, and vanishes for listings with more than 30 reviews.
Using the longitudinal nature of the data, Laouenan shows that this decrease is not
due to selection. Evidence is consistent with statistical discrimination and the absence
of taste-based discrimination in the price setting.
-research done in collaboration with Roland Rathelot, University of Warwick, UK
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