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Mentoring and Diversity

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  • Susan Athey

Abstract

We study how diversity evolves at a firm with entry-level and upper-level employees who vary in ability and "type" (gender or ethnicity). The ability of entry-level employees is increased by mentoring. An employ receives more mentoring when more upper-level employees have the same type. Optimal promotions are biased by type, and this bias may favor either the minority or the majority. We characterize possible steady states, including a "glass ceiling," where the upper level remains less diverse than the entry level. A firm may have multiple steady states, whereby temporary affirmative-action policies have a long-run impact.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 98-2.

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Date of creation: Jan 1998
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Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:98-2

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Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
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  1. Rosen, Asa, 1997. "An equilibrium search-matching model of discrimination," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1589-1613, August.
  2. Coate, S. & Loury, G.C., 1992. "Will Affirmative Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," Papers 3, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
  5. Cornell, Bradford & Welch, Ivo, 1996. "Culture, Information, and Screening Discrimination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 542-71, June.
  6. Bergmann, Barbara R, 1989. "Does the Market for Women's Labor Need Fixing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 43-60, Winter.
  7. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1994. "Comparing Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 441-59, June.
  8. Stephen J. Spurr, 1990. "Sex discrimination in the legal profession: A study of promotion," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(4), pages 406-417, April.
  9. Carmichael, H Lorne, 1988. "Incentives in Academics: Why Is There Tenure?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 453-72, June.
  10. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
  11. Prescott, Edward C & Visscher, Michael, 1980. "Organization Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 446-61, June.
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