How to Fight Bias in the Sharing Economy

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Professor Jun Li, writing in Harvard Business Review, shows why more information is better when it comes to preventing discrimination.

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Discrimination on sharing platforms such as Airbnb, Uber, and Lyft has been well-studied. What’s less documented is an effective way to combat this bias.

Michigan Ross Professor Jun Li — with co-authors Ruomeng Cui of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and Dennis Zhang of the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis — write in Harvard Business Review about their research-backed methods that show how to combat discrimination.

It turns out reviews are a powerful weapon in eliminating bias. The idea that more information can reduce bias runs counter to current practice, which hides information in an attempt to eliminate biases.

“Bringing information to light, rather than trying to hide it from users, is more likely to be a successful approach to tackling discrimination in the sharing economy,” they write.

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