The Conversation: Alexander Davidson on political ideology and customer rating trends

Alexander Davidson, assistant professor of marketing, wrote an article for The Conversation. “Customers give higher ratings and tips to politically conservative Airbnb hosts, Uber drivers and waiters than to ones with more liberal leanings, according to new peer-reviewed research I co-authored. That’s despite evidence we found that consumers may actually expect the opposite. To reach the first conclusion, a colleague and I conducted four different studies. The first involved poring over about 50,000 Airbnb listings in 16 U.S. cities. We examined average ratings and compared them with the percentage of Republican voters in the city, based on recent elections. We found that Airbnb hosts in cities with a greater share of Republican voters tended to have higher ratings. Specifically, an increase of one percentage point in a city’s proportion of Republicans correlated with a 0.12 increase in its average Airbnb rating. While that may seem small, Airbnb ratings are often quite high, which means a small change can be significant.”

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