Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Do you favor white sellers over black?

One thing we can be thankful for is the internet and its constant reminders to us to not be jerks. (Along with its constant opportunities to be jerks.)

At the University of Virginia, they did a year-long experiment on Craigs selling iPods.

They placed 1200 ads in 300 locales, ranging from small towns to big cities. The hand pictured holding the iPod was either white, black, or white with a wrist tattoo.

The iPods in the black hands received, on average, 13% fewer responses, 18% fewer offers, and offers that were 10% to 12% lower.  The wrist tattoo offers were similarly disadvantaged.

Buyers corresponding with the seller with the black hand holding the iPod were also less likely to give their full names, agree to a proposed delivery by mail, and were more concerned about a long-distance payment.

They docs said they were surprised to find as much racism as they did.

I thought about this--I have bought on Craigs from black and white sellers--I had no idea of race when I paid extra for the person to bring it over. I wonder if this would have affected me. I am not sure--and that is unsettling.

No comments: