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Diversity, discrimination, and performance

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Author Info

  • Leonard, Jonathan S.
  • Levine, David I.

Abstract

Employee diversity may affect business performance both as a result of customer discrimination and as a result of how members of a group work with each other in teams. We test for both channels with data from more than 800 retail stores employing over 70,000 individuals, matched to Census data on the demographics of the community. We find little payoff to matching employee demographics to those of potential customers except when the customers do not speak English. Diversity of race or gender within the workplace does not predict sales or sales growth, although age diversity predicts low sales.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt19d1c3n3.

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Date of creation: 10 Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt19d1c3n3

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Related research

Keywords: Employee Demographics; Race and Gender; Organizational Behavior;

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References

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  1. Thomas S. Dee, 2001. "Teachers, Race and Student Achievement in a Randomized Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Andersen, Torben & La Croix, Sumner J, 1991. "Customer Racial Discrimination in Major League Baseball," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(4), pages 665-77, October.
  3. H. J. Holzer & K. R. Ihlanfeldt, . "Customer Discrimination and Employment Outcomes for Minority Workers," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1122-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  4. Gabriel, Paul E & Johnson, Curtis & Stanton, Timothy J, 1995. "An Examination of Customer Racial Discrimination in the Market for Baseball Memorabilia," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(2), pages 215-30, April.
  5. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 2000. "School Quality and the Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 755-774.
  6. Jonathan S. Leonard & David I. Levine, 2006. "Effect of diversity on turnover: A large case study," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(4), pages 547-572, July.
  7. Kahn, Lawrence M & Sherer, Peter D, 1988. "Racial Differences in Professional Basketball Players' Compensation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 40-61, January.
  8. Lawrence M. Kahn, 1991. "Discrimination in professional sports: A survey of the literature," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(3), pages 395-418, April.
  9. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-48, June.
  10. Nardinelli, Clark & Simon, Curtis, 1990. "Customer Racial Discrimination in the Market for Memorabilia: The Case of Baseball," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 575-95, August.
  11. Lang, Kevin, 1986. "A Language Theory of Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 363-82, May.
  12. Paul Gabriel & Curtis Johnson & Timothy Stanton, 1999. "Customer racial discrimination for baseball memorabilia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(11), pages 1331-1335.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sander Hoogendoorn & Mirjam van Praag, 2012. "Ethnic Diversity and Team Performance: A Field Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-068/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 01 May 2014.
  2. Ben-Ner, Avner & McCall, Brian P. & Stephane, Massoud & Wang, Hua, 2009. "Identity and in-group/out-group differentiation in work and giving behaviors: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 153-170, October.
  3. Parrotta, Pierpaolo & Pozzoli, Dario & Pytlikova, Mariola, 2010. "Does Labor Diversity Affect Firm Productivity?," Working Papers 10-12, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Gary Charness & Marie Claire Villeval, 2009. "Cooperation and Competition in Intergenerational Experiments in the Field and in the Laboratory," Post-Print halshs-00371984, HAL.

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