Discrimination in the sharing economy: evidence from a Hungarian field experiment

Bori Simonovits, Iryna Shvets, Hannah C Taylor


Findings from our pilot research project which focused on providing car sharing services to young people with different ethnic/racial background showed discrimination against certain ethnic groups. The research was based on a controlled field experimental design to examine the chances of rides being offered to racially different testers. The experimental variables were both race and gender. Creating altogether 8 profiles enabled us to test the interaction between these two experimental stimulus. The small-scale research (total N=160) was implemented in Hungary, in summer 2017 by interns of TÁRKI, Hungarian Social Research Centre. The forthcoming article shows evidence of ethnic/racial disproportionality in offering ride to the different testers by multi-ethnic drivers. High effect size was detected in case of Arabic male tester (d=.87, p=.009) and medium effect in case of the Chinese male tester (d=.62, p=.059). In case of the Russian male profile and female testers of any nationality we did not detect evidence of racial or ethnic discrimination compared to our Dutch benchmark profile, however it has to be noted, that the numbers of observations were very low (N=20 for each profile) in our field experiment. Although the pattern is not clear, interaction effect was shown between gender and nationality; as a consequence of this interaction, the Arabic male tester had far lesser chance of being offered a ride compared to any other combination of gender and nationality.


discrimination,sharing economy,controlled field experiment,Hungary

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14267/CJSSP.2018.1.03


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ISSN: 2062-087X

DOI: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X