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The Impact of "Soft" Affirmative Action Policies on Minority Hiring in Executive Leadership: The Case of the NFL's Rooney Rule


  • Cynthia DuBois


There is a dearth of affirmative action policies designed to impact executive level hiring. The National Football League's (NFL) "Rooney Rule" is the exception. The Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate for any head coaching vacancy. Using a difference-in-differences approach, I present evidence that the Rooney Rule had a significant, positive impact on the likelihood that a minority candidate would fill an NFL head coaching vacancy. The Rooney Rule could serve as a case study for other types of firms wishing to enact "soft" affirmative action policies to impact executive hiring.

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  • Cynthia DuBois, 2016. "The Impact of "Soft" Affirmative Action Policies on Minority Hiring in Executive Leadership: The Case of the NFL's Rooney Rule," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 208-233.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:18:y:2016:i:1:p:208-233.

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    Cited by:

    1. Cynthia (CC) DuBois & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2017. "The Effect of Court-Ordered Hiring Guidelines on Teacher Composition and Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 24111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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