Race, Internet Usage, and E-Commerce

Hiroshi Ono and Madeline Zavodny
Working Paper 2002-1
January 2002

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The authors examine racial and ethnic differences in computer ownership and Internet usage using data from a survey conducted by the Nomura Research Institute in 2000. They focus on on-line shopping because few studies have examined racial and ethnic differences in e-commerce. The results indicate that blacks and Hispanics are less likely to own or use a computer than are non-Hispanic whites but are not less likely to shop on-line. Indeed, blacks appear to shop on-line more frequently and to spend more than non-Hispanic whites do.

JEL classification: O33, L86, J15

Key words: Internet, on-line shopping, e-commerce, race

The authors thank Junichiro Miyabe, Juro Toda, and Wayne Parsons for assistance with the Nomura Research Institute data set. The views expressed here are the authors' and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System. Any remaining errors are the authors' responsibility.

Please address questions regarding content to Hiroshi Ono, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden, +46-8-736-9367, +46-8-31-3017 (fax), Hiroshi.Ono@hhs.se or Madeline Zavodny, Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30309-4470, 404-498-8977, 404-498-8058 (fax), madeline.zavodny@atl.frb.org.