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Assessing Affirmative Action

  • David Neumark
  • Harry Holzer

Economic research provides extensive evidence regarding discrimination against women and minorities, and some evidence on the redistributive effects of affirmative action. However, it provides much less evidence on affirmative action's impact on efficiency or performance, perhaps the key economic issue in the debate over affirmative action. This review covers all of these issues, but focuses on the efficiency/performance question, drawing on economics and other disciplines. The evidence suggests to us that affirmative action can be implemented with relatively little efficiency loss. Most importantly, the empirical case against affirmative action on the grounds of efficiency is weak at best.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jel.38.3.483
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.

Volume (Year): 38 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 483-568

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:38:y:2000:i:3:p:483-568
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.38.3.483
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