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Anti-Discrimination or Reverse Discrimination: The Impact of Changing Demographics, Title VII and Affirmative Action on Productivity

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  • Jonathan S. Leonard

Abstract

Opponents of the integration by race and gender of the American workplace have argued that forced equity will entail reduced productivity as employers are forced to hire lower quality females and minorities. The numerous wage equation studies always reach the same dead-end: residual differences across race or gender are due either to discrimination or to unobserved quality differences. This study takes a new approach, and directly estimates over time the ratio of minority to white male, and of female to white male productivity, using a new two-digit SIC industry by state production function data set for 1966 and 1977. The major finding is that there is no significant evidence that the productivity of minorities or females decreased relative to that of white males as relative minority and female employment increased during the 1960's and 1970's. This study also presents evidence that Title VII litigation has played a significant role in increasing black employment. This suggests that the employment of minorities and females has not entailed large efficiency costs, and that Title VII litigation has had some success in fighting racial discrimination. Direct tests of the impact of Title VII litigation and affirmative action regulation also find no significant evidence that these policies have contributed to a productivity reduction.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1240.

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Date of creation: Nov 1983
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Publication status: published as Leonard, Jonathan S. "Anti-Discrimination or Reverse Discrimination: The Impact of Changing Demographics, Title VII and Affirmative Action on Productivity"Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 19, No. 2,(Spring 1984), pp. 145-17 4.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1240

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  1. Zvi Griliches, 1967. "Production Functions in Manufacturing: Some Preliminary Results," NBER Chapters, in: The Theory and Empirical Analysis of Production, pages 275-340 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1984. "The Impact of Affirmative Action on Employment," NBER Working Papers 1310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Orley Ashenfelter & James J. Heckman, 1974. "Measuring the Effect of an Anti-Discrimination Program," NBER Working Papers 0050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1978. "Trade Unions in the Production Process," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 355-78, June.
  5. Morris Goldstein & Robert S. Smith, 1976. "The estimated impact of the antidiscrimination program aimed at federal contractors," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 29(4), pages 523-543, July.
  6. James J. Heckman & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1976. "Does the contract compliance program work? An analysis of Chicago data," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 29(4), pages 544-564, July.
  7. Charles Brown, 1981. "The Federal Attack on Labor Market Discrimination: The Mouse that Roared?," NBER Working Papers 0669, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. H. Holzer & D. Neumark, . "Are affirmative action hires less qualified? Evidence from employer-employee data on new hires," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1113-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  2. Joyce Burnette, 2011. "The Emergence of Wage Discrimination in U.S. Manufacturing," Working Papers 11-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. H. J. Holzer, . "Employer hiring decisions and antidiscrimination policy," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1085-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  4. Zeynep Hansen & Hideo Owan & Jie Pan, 2006. "The Impact of Group Diversity on Performance and Knowledge Spillover -- An Experiment in a College Classroom," NBER Working Papers 12251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Tim Callan & Anne Wren, 1992. "An Economy-Wide Investigation of Sex Differences in Wage Rates," Papers WP034, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  6. Harry J. Holzer & David Neumark, 2006. "Affirmative action: What do we know?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 463-490.
  7. Noel Uri & J. Mixon, 1992. "Effects of U.S. equal employment opportunity and affirmative action programs on women's employment stability," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 113-126, May.
  8. Fidan Ana Kurtulus & Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, 2011. "Do Women Top Managers Help Women Advance? A Panel Study Using EEO-1 Records," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2011-14, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  9. Linda Barrington & Kenneth R. Troske, 2001. "Workforce Diversity and Productivity: An Analysis of Employer-Employee Match Data," Economics Program Working Papers 01-02, The Conference Board, Economics Program.
  10. Kurtulus, Fidan Ana & Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald, 2012. "Do Women Top Managers Help Women Advance? A Panel Study Using EEO-1 Records," IZA Discussion Papers 6444, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Justin McCrary, 2006. "The Effect of Court-Ordered Hiring Quotas on the Composition and Quality of Police," NBER Working Papers 12368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Judith Fields & Edward N. Wolff, 1997. "Gender Wage Differentials, Affirmative Action, and Employment Growth on the Industry Level," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_186, Levy Economics Institute.
  13. Rutherglen G, 1994. "Protecting aliens, immigrants, and ethnic minorities from discrimination in employment : the experience in the United States," ILO Working Papers 298713, International Labour Organization.

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