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Affirmative action through extra prizes

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  • Dahm, Matthias
  • Esteve-González, Patricia

Abstract

Some affirmative action policies establish that a set of disadvantaged competitors has access to an extra prize. We analyse the effects of creating an extra prize by reducing the prize in the main competition. Contestants differ in ability and agents with relatively low ability belong to a disadvantaged minority. All contestants compete for the main prize, but only disadvantaged agents can win the extra prize. We show that an extra prize is a powerful tool to ensure participation of disadvantaged agents. Moreover, for intermediate levels of the disadvantage of the minority, introducing an extra prize increases total equilibrium effort compared to a standard contest. Thus, even a contest designer not interested in affirmative action might establish an extra prize in order to enhance competition.

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  • Dahm, Matthias & Esteve-González, Patricia, 2018. "Affirmative action through extra prizes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 123-142.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:153:y:2018:i:c:p:123-142
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.06.016
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    Cited by:

    1. Dahm, Matthias & Esteve-González, Patricia, 2018. "Affirmative action through extra prizes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 123-142.
    2. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Anastasia Danilov & Martin G. Kocher, 2023. "The Lifecycle of Affirmative Action Policies and Its Effect on Effort and Sabotage Behavior," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 401, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    3. Fallucchi, Francesco & Quercia, Simone, 2018. "Affirmative action and retaliation in experimental contests," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 23-40.
    4. Alexander Matros & David Michael Rietzke, 2017. "Contests on Networks," Working Papers 156630581, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    5. Ratul Lahkar & Rezina Sultana, 2020. "Affirmative Action in Large Population Contests," Working Papers 40, Ashoka University, Department of Economics.
    6. Matthias Dahm, 2017. "All-Pay Auctions with Extra Prize: A Partial Exclusion Principle," Discussion Papers 2017-01, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    7. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Patricia Esteve‐González & Anwesha Mukherjee, 2023. "Heterogeneity, leveling the playing field, and affirmative action in contests," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 89(3), pages 924-974, January.
    8. Francesco Fallucchi & Simone Quercia, 2016. "Affirmative action and retaliation in experimental contests," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 16-03, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    9. Dahm, Matthias, 2018. "Semi-targeted all-pay auctions: A partial exclusion principle," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 256-282.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asymmetric contest; Equality of opportunity; Affirmative action; Discrimination; Prize structure; Exclusion principle;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)

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