An Australian study of race-specific social perks reveals that many have economic benefits. An opinion piece in today issue of The New York Times, “When Whites Get a Free Pass,” provides an overview of the study, its conclusions, and potential implications of the findings. The researchers describe results like the following:
“With more than 1,500 observations, the study uncovered substantial, statistically significant race discrimination. Bus drivers were twice as willing to let white testers ride free as black testers (72 percent versus 36 percent of the time). Bus drivers showed some relative favoritism toward testers who shared their own race, but even black drivers still favored white testers over black testers (allowing free rides 83 percent versus 68 percent of the time).
The study also found that racial disparities persisted when the testers wore business attire or dressed in army uniforms. For example, testers wearing army uniforms were allowed to ride free 97 percent of the time if they were white, but only 77 percent of the time if they were black.
In addition to reading the opinion piece, you can also access the entire working paper here.