Linguistic Profiling: Pilot Studies on Restaurants, Car Dealerships, and Apartment Rentals

Kedamai Fisseha, Nicolas Yannuzzi
Friday, January 12, 2007

We use a telephone audit study design to execute three pilot studies in which we test for discrimination based on auditory cues. Using two auditors, one speaking a dialect called African American Vernacular English and another speaking Standard American English, we find that linguistic profiling is not a factor in obtaining a reservation at an elite New York restaurant and has very modest effects on the starting prices quoted at luxury car dealerships. However, we do find highly robust signs of racial discrimination based on auditory cues in the Boston and Cambridge apartment rental markets. The auditor speaking African American Vernacular English was half as likely to receive a return call from a realtor and 1.67 times less likely to find available housing than the Standard American English auditor. Our availability findings are statistically significant at the .05 alpha level and yield a p-value of .039, suggesting that additional research needs to be done on discrimination in the Boston housing market. We also aggregated callback rates, which were even more significant,, with a p-value of .0067. We believe that the telephone audit design has a significant place in social scientific experimental work on detecting discrimination.

Audit studies were developed by fair housing organizations in the late 1970’s looking to uncover discrimination in housing markets.i The technique makes it possible to gauge discrimination in the act and for this reason has become a popular tool of researchers in the field. The audit technique attempts to overcome the significant problem of confounding that plagued earlier discrimination research by striving to eliminate as much non-racial dissimilarity between subjects as possible.ii The weak points of an audit study depend largely upon the type of contact that is being utilized. One general problem is that by nature, audit studies are not doubleblind, so auditors may introduce idiosyncratic qualities to the experiment that favor a certain endpoint.iii Further, individual discrimination observed in an audit study may not serve well as an indicator of market discrimination. These problems are addressable, however, through careful research and the utilization of a wide body of audit data. Generally, however, audit studies are characterized as quasiexperimental and give the researcher a good deal of power in assessing the types of treatment that different races face in the market. iv Since its first use in ’79, the audit methodology has been widely employed in an attempt to discern broadly the presence of discrimination. In 1987, George Galster collected fifty separate audit studies from different housing markets around the United States. In his analysis of the data, Galster used a conservative measure of racial discrimination and concluded that African Americans faced about a 50% chance of discrimination in the U.S. housing market.v A more recent study of car dealerships also detected the presence of discrimination in the market, this time against both African Americans and women. The data, collected by Ayres and Siegelman

from their study of over 300 paired audits at new car dealers, showed, at a statistically significant level, that African Americans and women were quoted higher final prices than white men. Based upon these findings, the researchers attempted to identify the reasons that dealers would be inclined to discriminate. Their conclusion cited the possible presence of non-economic tastes for discrimination such as traditional animus or bigotry and the use of statistical inference (by the car dealers) to generalize about a buyer's reservation price based on his/her gender or race. The researchers note that car sellers were probably inclined to infer a buyer’s reservation price through preconceived (race and gender linked) notions of consumer knowledgeability, the ability to search, and openness to prolonged bargaining. vi The astronomical time and monetary costs associated with running audit studies that rely on personal contact has led social scientists to pursue alternative audit study designs. Furthermore, some social scientists have speculated that racial discrimination might take place before the applicant and the discriminator actually meet face to face. The discriminator may rely on auditory cues from the applicant’s voice before visually observing race. Discriminating over the phone might be a more efficient method of screening applicants that could allow the discriminator to avoid the discomfort of rejecting the applicant in person. To test this hypothesis, social scientists have increasingly used the tactic of phone auditing. However, in instances where telephone audits are the contact method of choice, the study is weakened by the fact that auditors cannot convey their race over the telephone with absolute certainty. Further, since the audit method necessarily stops a business transaction at an early stage, it cannot gauge the presence of discrimination in later stages of the business


deal. For example, a real estate agent who is open to all phone calls, but discriminates during negotiations would not be detected in an audit study.vii Phone audits studies have been used mainly as a way to measure the impact of racial auditory cues on the earlystage success of home buyers and apartment seekers. In his research on housing discrimination in the San Francisco bay area, Professor John Baugh has shown that the presence of an African American Vernacular English (AAVE) or a Chicano English (ChE) dialect can affect the ability of an auditor to confirm an appointment for an apartment viewing.viii All of the phone interviews were conducted by Baugh, who was able to effectively “code-switch,” or shift between dialects. Baugh and his fellow researchers found that his trend was particularly prevalent in primarily White parts of San Francisco. In the Woodside region of San Franciso, the researchers show that auditors speaking AAVE and ChE are less than half as likely as the auditors speaking SAE to confirm apartment viewing appointments. Results like these have been an issue of contention for researchers and in the court room where judges have historically been unable to form a consensus upon the complete viability of auditory cues as a racial indicator.ix In a 1999 University of Pennsylvania study the presence of significant discrimination in the Philadelphia housing market was tested and confirmed. Implemented as part of a sociology course, the experiment utilized a multiracial group of students that included native speakers of different dialects. The dialects included Standard American English as well as two others, one the researches call Black Accented English (which is identical in nature to African American Vernacular English), and another they deem Black English, which is often perceived as a sign

of poor socioeconomic status. Using these dialects and also separating the students by gender, the researchers were able to design a telephone audit study to test the implications of vocal cues on housing availability. After collecting apartment listings from a wide variety of sources and executing 477 calls, they discovered a consistent gap in the success rate of three types of auditors with respect to housing ability and the ability to reach an agent. SAE auditors fared the best while Black Accent English (or AAVE) auditors lagged behind, and Black English auditors faced the most discrimination. Their results further advance the idea that telephone audit studies can be used as a tenable means of discrimination research and also pose further questions about the significance of speech as a racial cue.x Although telephone audit designs have shown consistent results uncovering the existence of linguistic profiling in the housing market, only a few studies have deeply discussed the differences between the vocal constitution or speech patterns of African Americans and Whites and how they are manifested. If an untrained ear can not identify race solely off of auditory cues in a reliable fashion, then linguistic profiling can not take place. Some phonetic or vocal characteristics are purely genetic since they depend on the anatomical features of an individual. Scientific evidence has shown that there is very little vocal variation between African Americans and Whites. Anatomically, the African American and White vocal cords have been shown to be highly comparable.xi Vocal tract length and vocal fold density, that control laryngeal aerodynamics and acoustic characteristics, have not been shown to be significantly different between the two racial groups.xii In addition, a study that took vocal samples from African American and White male and female speakers, matched for age, height,


and weight, showed that the aerodynamic and acoustic characteristics of sounds emanating from the larynx were comparable in most acoustic measurements including fundamental frequency and sound pressure level.xiii However, recent research has also shown that individuals can discern race from very little vocal information. Fifty black and fifty white adult males were recorded to produce a one-second acoustic sample extracted from the mid-portion of a sustained /a/ vowel. Untrained listeners could determine the race of the speaker with 60% accuracy, and the identification of race was independent of the listener’s race, sex, or listening experience.xiv These results, however, were not very convincing considering the small sample size and limited accuracy with which listeners could identify a speaker’s race. The most convincing work on racial identification by vocal cues has pointed to the multiple dialects of American English previously mentioned in this paper. In his work on linguistic profiling, John Baugh notes that in comparison to SAE, AAVE lacks sonorants such as /r, l, and n/ as well as missing /-s/ suffixes from plural, third person singular, or possessive forms. Some consonants, specifically /t and d/, might also be dropped in AAVE.xv Although studies have not convincingly shown that race can be determined by a short vowel sound alone, Baugh’s research has demonstrated that differences in dialects can lead to accurate and reliable racial identifications with just a single sentence and to a slightly lesser degree with the utterance of a single word. Baugh demonstrated this by conducting a trial in which 421 Stanford undergraduates were asked to identify the race and gender of Professor Baugh saying “Hello, I’m calling to see about the apartment you have advertised in the paper,”

in three dialects: AAVE, SAE, and ChE. The samples were randomized for presentation. Identification of Baugh speaking in AAVE as African American was 84%, SAE as White was 86%, and ChE as Hispanic was 91%.xvi Racial identification was also considerably accurate when subjects were presented a single word. In another trial, 50 University of Delaware students were asked to identify Baugh’s perceived race when he said the word “Hello” in the three dialects. Listeners were able to correctly identify between dialects 72% of the time.xvii Studies have also tested the impact of AAVE on listeners’ perceptions of the speaker. In a psychology study, African Americans who were native speakers of AAVE, SAE, or a code switching dialect (those who were able to speak both dialects and vary their usage within their speech) were recorded speaking about the same content. A test group of African American student subjects were then asked to listen to a random sample of either AAVE, SAE, or the code switching dialect and assess how much they wanted to get to know the model and how much they would want to work with the model on a committee. Results showed that the SAE model was more likable than both the AAVE model and the code switching Model. Thus, research has shown that, within groups, listeners unexpectedly may favor the SAE speech pattern over the code switching dialect.xviii Although Baugh’s work in housing discrimination in the San Francisco Bay area seemed convincing, we believed that there was a considerable limitation to his study. In our view, Baugh, a native speaker of SAE and not AAVE or ChE, might be prone to exaggerate or stereotype his dialects of AAVE and ChE. In addition, he called each realtor three times in a different dialect with no more than thirty minutes between each call. We find it hard to believe that even


with the use of pseudonyms and varying phone numbers that the realtors could not discern that the callers were the same person calling with different accents. We were further inclined to perform our research because we also knew that there were no published telephone audit studies that attempted to search for housing discrimination in the Boston area. With a clear background from the literature, we decided to design a telephone audit study procedure to test for housing discrimination in several parts of Boston as well as Cambridge, our very own 02138. To accommodate for the problems we found in previous work, we used two different auditors and matched them with identical profiles and scripts, except for pronunciation and accent. With the limitation of only having two auditors, however, we could not obtain a critically large sample size. Therefore, we set out to perform pilot studies for proof of concept in several different areas where linguistic profiling might exist. Kedamai Fisseha, able to codeswitch between SAE and AAVE, took on the persona of the AAVE auditor. Nico Yannuzzi, in contrast, took on the persona of the SAE auditor. Throughout the entire process, Fisseha never spoke in ebonics, a signal of poor socioeconomic status, but instead adhered to a highly similar script to the SAE auditor with changes only in pronunciation of certain words. In this manner, we could test for racial discrimination and not discrimination based upon socioeconomic status. We believed that the simplicity of our study design also lent itself to testing for discrimination in other areas where linguistic profiling could take place besides the housing market. We decided to see if an auditor speaking in AAVE would have more trouble getting a reservation at an elite New York City restaurant than an SAE auditor. Next, we wanted to see if an AAVE auditor

would find it more difficult to schedule a test drive at a luxury car dealership and whether he would face price discrimination over the phone. To test that our voices were representative of each dialect, we recorded each of our voices saying the sentence in our respective dialect and then presented it to student subjects of various races who listened to the recording and stated their opinion of the race of the speaker. I. Method A. Racial Identification of Voice The AAVE auditor, Fisseha, and the SAE auditor, Yannuzzi, were recorded saying the same sentence, “Hello, I’m calling to ask about the apartment listing you had on” The AAVE auditor stressed certain pronunciations such as “ask” as “axe.” Fisseha obtained a group of 30 random Harvard students to listen to the SAE recording of Yannuzzi and asked each listener to decide if the speaker was White, African American, Hispanic, or Asian. There were no listeners in the sample that had met the SAE auditor. Yannuzzi obtained a separate group of 30 random Harvard students to listen to the AAVE recording of Fisseha and to note if they believed that the voice was representative of a White, African American, Hispanic, or Asian speaker. None of the listeners in the sample had met Fisseha. B. Restaurants The Zagat Online Survey was used to obtain the audit sample. Restaurants in the New York City area were sorted in terms of price. The names, cuisine types, and average price of the one hundred most expensive New York City restaurants were then gathered. Restaurants included twenty


different cuisine types with the majority as American, French, or Italian. Prices ranged from $57 to $112 dollars per plate with an average of $70. Two profiles were constructed, one for Standard American English and one for African American Vernacular English. The two auditors used racially neutral pseudonyms, John Williams and Michael Smith. Both auditors said the same sentence but in different dialects. Yannuzzi spoke in Standard American English, while Fisseha, capable of Code-Switching, spoke in African American Vernacular English, stressing certain vowel sounds and pronunciations (see Appendix A for script). The Microsoft Excel random number generator was used to randomize the order of the restaurants called by each auditor and to vary which auditor called first. Auditors called each restaurant on Saturday evening and asked for a 7:30 reservation for four people on Sunday. If the reservation was accepted, the appointment was booked and a random contact number was left. If the reservation was denied, the auditor asked for an alternative time on Sunday evening. If an alternative time on Sunday was available, the appointment was booked and a random contact number was left. If an alternative time on Sunday evening was unavailable, the auditor terminated the call. Notes were also taken if the host or hostess mentioned price or dress code during the exchange. For restaurants that were not open on Sunday, the same procedure was done except the reservation was asked for 7:30 for four people on Monday. If a restaurant took reservations through a recording or was not open on either Sunday or Monday, it was not audited. In total 77 data points were collected.

C. Luxury Car Dealerships The names and zip codes of forty car dealerships from Alabama, Florida, Massachusetts, and New York were gathered using the Yellow Pages Online. Car dealerships were only selected if the name of a specific luxury car was embedded in the name of the dealership-for instance: “John Crump Hummer.” Luxury car dealerships used in the audit included Maserati, Porsche, Hummer, Lexus, Cadillac, Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, BMW, Bentley, or Infiniti. From the zip code of each dealership, information on the average income and population percentage White and African American from each area was collected using, a website that pools census data. Two profiles were constructed, one for Standard American English and one for African American Vernacular English. Auditors used racially neutral pseudonyms, John Williams and Michael Smith. The Microsoft Excel random number generator was then used to randomize the order of the dealerships called by each auditor and to vary which auditor called first. The time of day for which a test drive was requested (either the next morning or afternoon) was also randomized. Calls were made Monday afternoon. Both auditors started each call by asking for a sales person for a pre-agreed upon type of car make, model, and year. Car types were tailored to the name of the dealership. When a sales person was located, auditors asked to schedule a test drive for the following day using similar scripts except for pronunciation of certain words. Identical profiles for each auditor were also constructed in the advent that a salesperson asked more questions (see Appendix B for script, pronunciation, and profiles). Yannuzzi spoke in Standard American English, while Fisseha spoke in African American Vernacular English,


stressing certain vowel sounds and pronunciations. Auditors first took note of whether a test drive could be scheduled. If the test drive was scheduled, each auditor then asked for the lowest starting price on the make, model, and year of the car being test driven. A price was only requested outright; bargaining did not take place. Finally, each auditor also took note of any questions the salesperson asked, specifically what car the auditor was currently driving or the credit situation of the auditor. Auditors did not release information on their profile unless asked directly. If the dealership did not carry the pre-agreed upon model and year, the call was terminated, and the dealership was excluded from the analysis. If a dealership was unreachable during the calling window, the dealership was discarded from the analysis. When a single dealership listed multiple phone numbers and names (with different car types), it was audited only once. In total, 18 dealerships were analyzed. D. Apartments Apartment rental listings for the Boston and Cambridge area were gathered using various apartment websites such as The majority of the listings were from Back Bay, Beacon Hill, the North End, and Cambridge. If a realtor or landlord was representing multiple rentals, he/she was only called in reference to one of them. A total of 70 different realtors and landlords were audited. Two profiles were constructed, one for Standard American English and one for African American Vernacular English. Auditors used racially neutral pseudonyms, John Williams and Michael Smith. The Microsoft Excel random number generator was used to randomize the order of the realtors called by each auditor independently

and to vary which auditor called first. Calls were made Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the course of the day and evening. Both auditors called in reference to a particular property and described it to the realtor and called only once. The Standard American English auditor and the African American Vernacular English auditor accomplished this using a similar script but with different pronunciations. Yannuzzi again spoke as the Standard American English auditor, while Fisseha spoke in African American Vernacular English, stressing certain vowel sounds and pronunciations in the dialect (see Appendix C for the profiles and scripts of each auditor). If an agent was available the auditor asked if the specific property was still available. The agent was then told that that the auditor would call them next week to discuss apartment visits. If an agent did not answer, a message was left describing the property and leaving a name and number for call back. The amount of call backs were then recorded for each auditor throughout the course of the next day. A call from an agent was only recorded as a call back if it was received by 10pm the evening after the message was left. If an auditor was not called back after leaving a message with a realtor, the apartment was scored as “unavailable.” If a realtor or landlord had multiple listings, he/she was called only once and the other numbers were dropped from the analysis. II. Results A. Racial Identification of Voice In a total of 30 trials, the AAVE auditor was identified by listeners as African American 25 times (83%), as White 4 times (13%), and as Asian once (4%). The SAE auditor was identified as White 25 times


(83%), as African American 3 times (10%), and as ambiguous 2 times (7%). B. Restaurants In 77 total observations of New York City restaurants, we did not detect the slightest amount of linguistic discrimination in terms of reservation acceptance and general treatment during the exchange. The auditor speaking in AAVE was accepted at the primary slot in 76.6% of the observations compared with 72.7% for the SAE auditor. If denied the primary slot, the AAVE auditor was granted an alternative time in 22.1% of the observations in comparison to 24.7% for the SAE auditor (See Table II). Thus there were no significant differences between the two auditors in terms of obtaining a reservation. We also recorded whether dress code or the price of the restaurant was mentioned by the host or hostess during the process. Both the AAVE and the SAE auditor received the same amount of warnings about the dress code (11.7%) and the same amount of mentions of the price (1.3%). Data from the restaurant audit can be found in Table I. Since the sample was restricted to New York City restaurants, we decided to test for discrimination in 5-10 restaurants located in Georgia, Louisiana, and North Carolina (Data not shown). These audits also did not result in discrimination, displaying identical results for the AAVE and the SAE auditors. C. Luxury Car Dealerships Little can be inferred from the small number of observations in the test drive audit (18 in total). However, we did find that during the trial, neither the AAVE nor the SAE auditor was denied a test drive appointment. While this result was highly indicative of equal treatment, we also found that the AAVE auditor was asked about his

current credit situation (2/19) and his current car (4/19), while the SAE auditor was not asked these questions (See Table III). Moreover, in 11/19 audits, the AAVE auditor was quoted a higher starting price than the SAE auditor. In these 11 instances, on average, the AAVE auditor was quoted a starting price that was nearly $7K higher than the SAE auditor. In only 2/19 audits, the AAVE auditor was quoted a lower price. Throughout the 19 audits, the AAVE auditor was on average quoted a price approximately $3,500 higher than the SAE auditor. D. Apartments In 70 total observations of apartments in Boston and Cambridge the auditor speaking in AAVE had a 31% apartment availability rate while the SAE auditor had a 50% apartment availability rate (See Table IV). Callback rates showed a similar trend. The AAVE auditor had a 23% callback rate while the SAE auditor had a 50% callback rate (See Table V). The auditors made sure to record any pricing information that was obtained as well as any additional information about other available apartments. With the exception of one instance where the AAVE auditor was quoted a price that was $2,000 higher for the same apartment by the same agent that spoke to the SAE auditor, the pricing information was quite neutral. The auditors also took notes to record nuanced information about their conversations, and the AAVE auditor seemed, on average, to experience inquiries into employment and current living conditions at a rate only slightly exceeding the SAE auditor. III. Discussion Thus, our three pilot studies yielded varying results. In our first experiment, we


were unable to detect linguistic discrimination in the process of obtaining a restaurant reservation. Experiences for both auditors in terms of reservation availability and general commentary about price and dress code were virtually identical. This result could be due to two reasons. The hosts and hostesses in our sample may simply lack racial animus or have no reason to engage in race-based statistical discrimination. On the other hand, the noisy and distracting environment in a restaurant may make racial identification very difficult for the listener. In our second pilot study, we tested for the presence of linguistic profiling in luxury car dealerships. In the small sample, the AAVE and SAE auditors were able to schedule a test drive at every dealership contacted. Dealerships showed no bias when afforded the chance to get a potential buyer into the showroom. In our second endpoint, dealer starting price, we saw small but consistent results which favored the SAE auditor. Although the sample size is too small to generate a causal interpretation, we speculate that these price differentials were signs of either taste based discrimination, as a result of racial animus, or statistical discrimination, relying on the fact that the majority of African American buyers have less consumer information and higher search costs. After using a histogram to check the approximate normality of the price data we ran a t-test of significance for this data (this technically has an ‘n’ sample size that is large enough to justify doing so) and found a p-value of .0381. This is significant at the alpha = .05 level. We still remain highly cautious about the small sample size in this part of our study, however. Our most robust results were found in our telephone audit of Boston realtors. Here we found strong and statistically significant signs of linguistic profiling. The SAE auditor was 2 times more likely to

receive a call back from a message left for an agent than the AAVE auditor. Furthermore, when an agent was finally reached, the SAE auditor was told that the particular apartment was available 1.67 times more often than the AAVE auditor. Statistical analysis yielded a Chi-squared value of 4.261 with 1 degree of freedom and gave us a two-tailed p-value equaling 0.0390. This indicates that there, almost surely, is a relationship between the row variable, race, and the column variable, availability. Our callback data was even more significant yielding a chi-squared value of 7.342 with 1 degree of freedom. The resulting two-tailed p-value equals 0.0067. This indicates again the undeniable presence of race as a factor in apartment search outcomes and further indicates that non-response is a discriminatory strategy used quite frequently by real estate agents. While our results show strong signs of discrimination, we remain cautious about identifying the reason for these actions. We suspect that the agents had stereotypes about African American buyers’ financing ability or that they were motivated by racial animus. As with all audit studies, however, it is easier to document the existence of discrimination than the mechanisms behind it. There were several weaknesses to the study. First, although we believed that phone auditing would allow us to obtain a high number of observations in a short amount of time, the process was very time consuming. Over four days, calling for 5 hours a day, we were only able to accumulate 77, 18, 70 data points in the restaurant, luxury car dealership, and apartment rental studies, respectively. Moreover, additional time was spent seeking and coding the audit samples. While the number of data points we were able to collect was sufficient for a pilot study, a team of at least ten auditors would be


needed to execute a study that could produce sufficient data to determine definitively whether linguistic profiling exists in these arenas and whether the relationship is causal, especially on a market level. The small number of observations also limited the geographic region which we could span. In the restaurant study, we only targeted New York City establishments. In the housing study, all of our observations came from the Boston area, and in the test drive study, we were only able to reach out to dealerships in the Massachusetts and New York area as well as several from Alabama and Florida. The narrow focus of our study brings up external validity questions. Another limitation of our design and telephone auditing in general is, again, that it cannot detect discrimination occurring in later interactions. For instance, telephone auditing has no way of detecting discrimination in terms of getting a good table, service, or in waiting time upon arrival at a restaurant. Similarly, most if not all of the bargaining for a new car occurs after the buyer has arrived to the dealership, not over the phone. Finally, in the case of apartments, much of the discrimination might take place after meeting with the landlord or realtor. Telephone auditing has no way to detect discrimination occurring at these points. However, our experiment design did allow us to improve upon earlier studies and directly avoid some of the problems present in the Baugh design. In his test for linguistic profiling, Baugh took on all three dialects, AAVE, SAE, and ChE, and called the same agent three times with no more than thirty minutes between calls. This design could be vulnerable since it might be possible for the agent to detect that the three simultaneous calls were from the same person. Moreover, since Baugh is not a native speaker of two of the three dialects, he might be prone to stereotyping or exaggeration of his non-

native dialects. By using native speakers of each dialect and by using multiple auditors we were able to avoid these problems. However, with more than one auditor, we also introduced a problem not present in Baugh’s design, cross-speaker variation. This again could be remedied by using a larger cast of auditors to wash out any potentially large differences between speakers. We also remain cautious about the thin line between racial and socioeconomic vocal cues. AAVE may send mixed signals of both race and socioeconomic status to realtors, and we realize that with this design it is impossible to completely isolate race as a variable. Finally, the individual firm discrimination we witnessed may not necessarily imply market discrimination since the firms we contacted may not be the ones that African Americans seek when searching for an apartment rental in the Boston area. We do believe however, that most renters, independent of their race, begin their apartment rental search on the phone, although renters might also utilize other modes of correspondence, such as email, in which linguistic profiling could not occur. IV. Conclusion We believe that telephone auditing has a place in social scientific studies on discrimination, especially with regard to the housing market. Telephone audits can suffer some of the same problems that audits done in person can. Trials are not double blind, so sub-consciously auditors may act in a certain way to achieve a specific endpoint. However, for the most part, we believe that this can be remedied by calling housing agencies on off hours, leaving standard messages, and recording call back rates. In this manner, telephone audits provide a


much less expensive and quicker method of testing for housing discrimination. Our evidence suggests that future research on linguistic profiling should remain in the housing realm since our results in restaurant reservations showed no signs of discrimination and our findings in car dealerships were modest at best. Our robust findings in the Boston housing market suggest that additional research should be done to further document this trend, the regions in which it is most prevalent, and the possible reasons behind it. Another area that might be interesting to survey with a telephone audit is job vacancies that search for applicants through classified advertisements. Before additional studies are begun, however, more research must also be done on racial recognition through auditory cues since previous studies have not had large enough samples.



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