• AEA in the news
  • September 14, 2016

Airbnb Adopts Rules to Fight Discrimination by Its Hosts


A recent New York Times article cited a forthcoming paper about racial discrimination by Airbnb hosts set to appear in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. In Racial Discrimination in the Sharing Economy: Evidence from a Field Experiment, the authors create fictitious Airbnb guest accounts, some with distinctively African-American names and some with distinctively white ones. They find that hosts are 16% less likely to respond to inquiries from the African-American guests, and that this pattern held across many different categories of hosts: black, white, male, female, shared properties, and standalone rentals.