Post by High Priestess on Jun 17, 2016 5:51:41 GMT
A couple things to note about the study:
(1) In the study, the only way hosts could identify the "race" of the "fake guests" was by name. Photos were not used. Rather, the study used "white sounding names" and "black sounding names". Hence, the study should be critiqued as not actually being a study about the effect of race/ethnicity on likelihood of obtaining a rental -- but rather, a study on the effect of certain names in obtaining a rental. Hence to say that the study was on "race discrimination" is misleading. And because it was a study done by Harvard University researchers, one might even say...so misleading as to be irresponsible.
(2) The media has widely quoted only one result from this study -- the statistic that black guests were accepted 16% less often than white guests. However, reading the study, and in particular, looking at the chart above, shows that there are other conclusions one can draw from the study. One statistical figure that stands out, is that of the 4 types of hosts studied, the ones that were "most discriminatory" in terms of the largest difference between their acceptance rate of black sounding names vs white sounding names, were the black male hosts. White males had a 7% difference in acceptance rates, white females 11%, black females 5%, and black male hosts had a 24% difference, or more than twice as much preference for white males as any of the other types of hosts.
If we use the study's statement on pg 11 that "inquiries from guests with White sounding names are accepted roughly 50% of the time.... guests with African American-sounding names are accepted roughly 42% of the time. Relative to the 50% base response rate, the eight percentage point difference represents a 16% reduction in the acceptance rate for African-American guests." then these rates should be doubled to 14%, 22%, 10% and 48% respectively.
Should this study be used to demonstrate that the group most in need of Airbnb's proposed "unconscious bias training", were the black male hosts?
I'd like to see a better study done, this time actually studying the effect of race/ethnicity in rentals, rather than that of names. This would require the use of photos.