June 23, 2016
How diverse and transparent is it really, though? Airbnb declined to provide information about the demographics of its hosts and guests, but third-party research offers clues. A study from the JPMorgan Chase Institute has found that people who rent out assets on “capital” platforms such as Airbnb tend to have slightly higher earnings than the typical American. The Harvard study, which sampled hosts from Baltimore, Dallas, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Washington, DC, noted that 63% of hosts were white and only 8% black. Home-sharing guests in the US, meanwhile, are overwhelmingly white and well heeled. Thirteen percent of white adults have booked stays on home-sharing sites like Airbnb compared to 11% of the overall population and just 5% of black adults, according to data published last month by Pew Research Center. In the highest earning bracket ($75,000 and up), 24% have used home-sharing, compared with 4% of those in the lowest (less than $30,000). In other words, Airbnb hosts might not just be less willing to rent their properties to black people. The very socioeconomic makeup of Airbnb’s host and guest communities could be setting up the non-white and non-wealthy to be treated as outsiders….
Quartz – The dirty secret of Airbnb is that it’s really, really white
June 23, 2016