Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky (Jeff Chiu / AP)

Airbnb users pay more attention to other users' reviews and profile ratings than they do to the social similarities between them, a Stanford study found. On average, users preferred hosts with high ratings over others that shared demographic similarities but had low scores.

The backdrop: Airbnb has implemented a series of changes to its platform to attempt to curb discrimination based on social biases, including removing user photos, which indicate race and gender, from the search listings page and asking users to agree to an anti-bias pledge.

The context: A 2016 Harvard study found that "requests with black-sounding names were 16% less likely than those with white-sounding names to be accepted" on Airbnb. Harvard researchers also found that "non-black hosts are able to charge approximately 12% more than black hosts, holding location, rental characteristics, and quality constant."

The study: Stanford researchers collected data on gender, age, home state and marital status from about 9,000 U.S. Airbnb users and asked them to judge other users' profiles. Some profiles the participants were shown were demographically identical to them — based on those factors — and others had received high ratings. Participants tended to weigh users' reputations more than the demographic similarities between them.

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Breaking down the Tesla obsession

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tesla is the company of the moment — the prime exemplar of just about any big and important trend that you might care about.

Why it matters: Almost every reader of finance and business news will have at least one strongly-held opinion about Tesla. What you might not realize is just how widely those opinions range, and the degree to which they map onto much broader views of the world.

Gallup: Party preference swings dramatically in favor of Democrats

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Americans' political party preferences have swung sharply from a 2-point Republican advantage in January to an 11-point Democratic advantage in July, according to Gallup's monthly averages of telephone polls in 2020.

The big picture: The dramatic shift is more a product of fewer people identifying as Republican or Republican-leaning (down 8% since January) than gains among those who identify as Democratic or Democratic-leaning (up 5%).

Nancy Pelosi: "I yearn for other Republican presidents"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called on President Trump Thursday to exercise "the full power" of the Defense Production Act to meet coronavirus equipment needs and accused him of engaging in a "massive dereliction of duty" by ignoring science during the pandemic.

What she's saying: "I yearn for other Republican presidents," Pelosi said at a press conference. "While we may have disagreed on many points, but at least we had a shared commitment to the governance of our country."