Which Communities Complain to Policymakers? Evidence from Consumer Sentinel

Authors:
Devesh Raval
Working Paper:
336

I use a large database of millions of complaints to examine how per-capita complaint rates vary across communities, as well as heterogeneity in complaining across different agencies and consumer protection issues. I find higher complaint rates in more heavily black, more educated, and more urban communities and lower complaint rates in more heavily Hispanic and higher household size communities. The demographics of complaints are quite different for the CFPB, with much higher rates of complaints from black and college educated areas compared to the FTC or BBBs. I also find much higher rates of finance related complaints from black communities.