Stanford University Research Finds Racial Bias in Online Buying

New research conducted by doctoral students in economics at Stanford University has found that online shoppers prefer buying products from white sellers rather than from black sellers. The researchers posted advertisements for the iPod Nano on local online advertising sites across the United States. The advertisement pictures the product being held by either a white or black hand.

The results showed that ads with a black hand received 13 percent fewer responses and 17 percent fewer offers to purchase the product. Black sellers were also offered less money than white sellers.

The largest discrepancy was in the northeastern United States. There the ads with a black hand received 32 percent fewer offers than ads with a white hand. In the West, there was no statistically significant difference in the number of offers received.