Racial Discrimination in Local Public Services: A Field Experiment in the US

Source: Corrado Giulietti, Michael Vlassopoulos, Mirco Tonin, IZA Discussion Paper No. 9290, August 2015

From the abstract:
Discrimination in access to public services can act as a major obstacle towards addressing racial inequality. We examine whether racial discrimination exists in access to a wide spectrum of public services in the US. We carry out an email correspondence study in which we pose simple queries to more than 19,000 local public service providers. We find that emails are less likely to receive a response if signed by a black-sounding name compared to a white-sounding name. Given a response rate of 72% for white senders, emails from putatively black senders are almost 4 percentage points less likely to receive an answer. We also find that responses to queries coming from black names are less likely to have a cordial tone. Further tests demonstrate that the differential in the likelihood of answering is due to animus towards blacks rather than inferring socioeconomic status from race.
African Americans discriminated against in access to U.S. local public services
Source: IZA Press, August 20, 2015

Names on Emails Flag Racial Bias in Public Service
Source: University of Southampton, Futurity, August 31, 2015