Discrimination in an Online Market for Tutoring Services

Florentyna Farghly

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


This PhD thesis examines gender and racial discrimination in the sharing economy, more specifically an online market for tutoring services. The first chapter focuses on pricing behaviour. I exploit the fact that prices are observed over time to examine differences both in a static as well as dynamic framework. I observe no gender differences, but find that ethnic minority tutors consistently underprice their services relative to majority tutors. The ethnic price gap does not diminish as tutors modestly adjust their prices in response to gains in reputation and experience. The second chapter examines racial discrimination in the hiring process on both the supply and demand side of the market. I uncover large scale discrimination against ethnic minority tutors who are almost half as likely to be approached by potential students and up to 40% less likely to be hired than similar British tutors. This discrimination appears to be taste-based as prejudicial treatment persists in the presence of reviews. Discrimination also exists on the supply side of the market, albeit to a lesser extent, with British tutors rejecting requests from minority tutees more frequently than requests from British tutees. In the third chapter I study gender homophily in preferences and find that it is moderated by pervasive stereotypes regarding the role of men and women in education. Overall, this thesis shows that now ubiquitous, trust facilitating, online profiles which contain demographic information can and do lead to discrimination.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Chevalier, Arnaud, Supervisor
  • Anderberg, Dan, Supervisor
Publication statusUnpublished - 2018


  • discrimination
  • labour markets
  • gender
  • ethnicity

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