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Asymmetric Tournaments, Equal Opportunity Laws, and Affirmative Action: Some Experimental Results


  • Andrew Schotter
  • Keith Weigelt


This paper assesses whether affirmative action programs and equal opportunity laws affect the output of economic agents. More precisely, we find that equal opportunity laws and affirmative action programs always benefit disadvantaged groups. Equal opportunity laws also increase the effort levels of all subjects and hence the profits of the tournament administrator (usually the firm). The effects of affirmative action programs depend on the severity of a group's cost disadvantage. When the cost disadvantage is severe, these programs significantly increase effort levels (and hence profits). The opposite is true when the disadvantage is slight.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Schotter & Keith Weigelt, 1992. "Asymmetric Tournaments, Equal Opportunity Laws, and Affirmative Action: Some Experimental Results," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 107(2), pages 511-539.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:107:y:1992:i:2:p:511-539.

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