African-American hosts rent homes for 12% less: study

New York /
Jan.January 22, 2014 02:00 PM

The layout and user design of Airbnb’s website makes it easier for would-be renters to discriminate against African-Americans, according to a new Harvard Business School study.

The study, titled “Digital Discrimination: The Case of Airbnb.com,” African-American hosts receive a bigger price penalty for receiving a weak location score compared to hosts of other races. Non-African-American hosts can charge an average 12 percent more than African-American hosts, if such features as quality, location and other rental traits are unchanged, the Jan. 10 report said.

The authors of the report, professors Michael Luca and Benjamin Edelman, make a case that the recently enlarged profile photos make skin color of the hosts unavoidable to the prospective Airbnb renter, Gawker reported. The data involved landlords in the city in 2012.

In response, the controversial peer-to-peer home rental startup said it is “committed to making Airbnb the most open, trusted, diverse, transparent community in the world.” [Gawker]Mark Maurer


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
From left: Mayor Bill de Blasio, 54 West 39th Street, 62 Grand Street, and 208 West 30th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

The Airbnb crackdown continues: City targets three more buildings

The Airbnb crackdown continues: City targets three more buildings
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Stanley “Skip” Karol, an Airbnb host (Credit: Getty Images and Youtube)

Airbnb host narrowly clears hurdle in First Amendment claim against city

Airbnb host narrowly clears hurdle in First Amendment claim against city
A West Village Airbnb listing (Credit: Airbnb)

Airbnb Luxe launched without listings in one of their biggest potential markets — why?

Airbnb Luxe launched without listings in one of their biggest potential markets — why?
Domio's CEO Jay Roberts and Chief Strategy Officer Adrian Lam (Photos via Domio)

Short-term rental operator Domio shuts down

Short-term rental operator Domio shuts down
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky (Getty; iStock)

Airbnb is offering hosts company shares. But millions may miss out

Airbnb is offering hosts company shares. But millions may miss out
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky (Getty)

Inside Airbnb’s IPO pitch

Inside Airbnb’s IPO pitch
The Real Deal's E.B. Solomont

Demise of title startup, SoftBank execs join SPAC

Demise of title startup, SoftBank execs join SPAC
The Real Deal's E.B. Solomont

CoStar’s next target, ex-Zillow execs eye mortgage market

CoStar’s next target, ex-Zillow execs eye mortgage market
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...