Seller-buyer ethnic matches: The case of car transactions at two North American auto dealerships

Hideo Owan, Tsuyoshi Tsuru, Katsuhito Uehara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using personnel and transaction data obtained from two Canadian auto dealerships, we examine whether ethnic matches between salespersons and customers affect sales prices and the number of units sold by individual salespersons. Regarding prices, we detect neither premium price setting nor discounting among seller-buyer matches of the same ethnic groups relative to those of different ethnic groups. Regarding the number of units sold by individual salespersons, however, we find that, relative to customer demographics, salespersons sell larger quantities to customers of the same ethnic group. Moreover, we find that high-performing salespersons conduct more transactions with customers of the same ethnic group than low-performers especially in months when business conditions are unfavorable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-236
Number of pages20
JournalHitotsubashi Journal of Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec 1



  • Car transaction
  • Ethnicity
  • Price discrimination
  • Seller-buyer matches
  • Social network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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