(Washington Post) Race influences how people are treated in subtle – and not-so-subtle – ways. African-Americans are not only more likely to be pulled over by the police, arrested for marijuana use, and incarcerated than whites are. Past studies have shown that African-Americans are also charged more when buying cars, receive fewer letters from their state legislators, and get less extensive medical care.
Now researchers have shown that racial biases also extend to selling things on eBay. In a study published in October by the RAND Journal of Economics, Ian Ayres and Christine Jolls of Yale Law School and Mahzarin Banaji of Harvard looked at how the race of the seller affected 394 auctions of baseball cards on eBay.
Some of the postings were accompanied by a photo of the card held by a light-skinned hand, and some with the card held by a dark-skinned hand, as in the photos above. The study shows that the cards held by an African-American hand sold for around 20 percent less than the cards held by Caucasian sellers.
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