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What Does Affirmative Action Do?

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  • Harry J. Holzer
  • David Neumark

Abstract

We use data from a survey of employers to investigate how Affirmative Action in recruiting and hiring influences hiring practices, personnel policies, and ultimately employment outcomes. Our results show that Affirmative Action increases the number of recruitment and screening practices used by employers, raises their willingness to hire stigmatized applicants, increases the number of minority or female applicants as well as employees, and increases employers' tendencies to provide training and to formally evaluate employees. When Affirmative Action is used in recruiting, it does not lead to lower credentials or performance of women and minorities hired. When it is also used in hiring, it yields female and minority employees whose credentials are somewhat weaker, though performance generally is not. Over than, the more intensive search, evaluation, and training that accompany Affirmative Action appear to offset any tendencies of the policy to lead to hiring of less-qualified or less-productive women and minorities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6605.

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Date of creation: Jun 1998
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Publication status: published as Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 53, no. 2 (January 2000): 240-271
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6605

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References

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  1. Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "Informal Job Search and Black Youth Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 1860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Harry J. Holzer, 1998. "Why Do Small Establishments Hire Fewer Blacks Than Large Ones?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 896-914.
  3. Holzer, Harry J. & Reaser, Jess, 2000. "Black Applicants, Black Employees, and Urban Labor Market Policy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 365-387, November.
  4. Leonard, Jonathan S, 1985. "Affirmative Action as Earnings Redistribution: The Targeting of Compliance Reviews," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 363-84, July.
  5. Barron, John M & Bishop, John & Dunkelberg, William C, 1985. "Employer Search: The Interviewing and Hiring of New Employees," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 43-52, February.
  6. Gregory Attiyeh & Richard Attiyeh, 1997. "Testing for Bias in Graduate School Admissions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 524-548.
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Cited by:
  1. Michael A. Stoll & Steven Raphael & Harry J. Holzer, 2001. "Why Are Black Employers More Likely to Hire African Americans than White Employers?," JCPR Working Papers 228, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  2. Eddy Ng & Greg Sears, 2012. "CEO Leadership Styles and the Implementation of Organizational Diversity Practices: Moderating Effects of Social Values and Age," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 105(1), pages 41-52, January.
  3. Eddy Ng & Willi Wiesner, 2007. "Are Men Always Picked Over Women? The Effects of Employment Equity Directives on Selection Decisions," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 76(2), pages 177-187, December.
  4. Vendrik,Maarten C.M. & Schwieren,Christiane, 2005. "Identification, screening and stereotyping in labor market discrimination," Research Memorandum 013, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  5. Joanne D. Leck, 2002. "Making Employment Equity Programs Work for Women," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(s1), pages 85-100, May.
  6. Fairchild, Gregory B., 2008. "The influence of residential segregation and its correlates on ethnic enterprise in urban areas," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 513-527, September.
  7. Stewart, Frances, 2006. "Policies towards Horizontal Inequalities in Post-Conflict Reconstruction," Working Paper Series RP2006/149, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  8. World Bank, 2012. "Toward Gender Equality in East Asia and the Pacific : A Companion to the World Development Report," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 12598, October.
  9. Vivian Price, 2002. "Race, Affirmative Action, and Women's Employment in US Highway Construction," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 87-113.
  10. 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.
  11. Dragos BIGU, 2009. "Discrimination and Profit," REVISTA DE MANAGEMENT COMPARAT INTERNATIONAL/REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE MANAGEMENT, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 10(5), pages 1021-1027, December.

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