Sellers on classified ad websites favor buyers from affluent neighborhoods

phys.org | 4/6/2015 | Staff
Les7799 (Posted by) Level 3
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New Rice University research has found that people selling stuff on classified ad websites prefer dealing with buyers from affluent neighborhoods.

"Disentangling the Effects of Race and Place in Economic Transactions: Findings from an Online Field Experiment" will appear in an upcoming edition of City and Community.

Max - Besbris - Assistant - Professor - Sociology

Max Besbris, an assistant professor of sociology at Rice and the study's lead author, tested whether transactions conducted through online resale websites were affected by the addresses where prospective buyers live. He also studied the role played by race and ethnicity.

"For several decades, social scientists have investigated how the geographic organization of inequality affects social and economic outcomes of those living in disadvantaged places," Besbris said. "We were interested in seeing if this inequality extended to the online resale marketplace."

Besbris - Field - Experiment - Market - Secondhand

So Besbris conducted an original field experiment in the market for secondhand goods. Researchers answered advertisements for used cellphones in ways that signaled the prospective buyer's race and ethnicity, as well as whether the buyer lived in an advantaged or disadvantaged neighborhood.

As Besbris hypothesized, inquiries that included the name of a disadvantaged neighborhood received 12% fewer responses than...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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