IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/sae/ilrrev/v60y2007i3p379-396.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Cure for Discrimination? Affirmative Action and the Case of California's Proposition 209

Author

Listed:
  • Caitlin Knowles Myers

Abstract

An important claim made for affirmative action programs has been that they need not be permanent: they can be discontinued, the argument runs, once they have transformed employers' attitudes. Proposition 209, enacted in California in 1996 and made effective the following year, represents a natural experiment testing that claim. It ended long-standing state affirmative action programs not only in education, but also in public employment and government contracting. The author uses Current Population Survey data to gauge the labor market effects of this policy change. The key finding is that employment among women and minorities dropped sharply, almost wholly because of a decline in labor force participation rather than an increase in unemployment. This finding suggests that affirmative action programs in California either had been inefficient—that is, resulted in sub-optimal employment outcomes—or had been effective while in place but had failed to create lasting change in employers' prejudicial attitudes.

Suggested Citation

  • Caitlin Knowles Myers, 2007. "A Cure for Discrimination? Affirmative Action and the Case of California's Proposition 209," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(3), pages 379-396, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:60:y:2007:i:3:p:379-396
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ilr.sagepub.com/content/60/3/379.abstract
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mincer, Jacob, 1976. "Unemployment Effects of Minimum Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 87-104, August.
    2. Holzer, Harry & Neumark, David, 1999. "Are Affirmative Action Hires Less Qualified? Evidence from Employer-Employee Data on New Hires," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 534-569, July.
    3. Christopher Avery & Susan Athey & Peter Zemsky, 2000. "Mentoring and Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 765-786, September.
    4. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis, 1984. "Affirmative Action and Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 269-301, April.
    5. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-641, June.
    6. Orley Ashenfelter & James J. Heckman, 1974. "Measuring the Effect of an Anti-Discrimination Program," NBER Working Papers 0050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    8. Morris Goldstein & Robert S. Smith, 1976. "The Estimated Impact of the Antidiscrimination Program Aimed at Federal Contractors," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 29(4), pages 523-543, July.
    9. Coate, Stephen & Loury, Glenn C, 1993. "Will Affirmative-Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1220-1240, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hélène Perivier, 2007. "Les femmes sur le marché du travail aux États-Unis - Une mise en perspective avec la France et la Suède," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2007-07, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    2. Prakash, Nishith, 2008. "Improving the Labor Market Outcomes of Minorities: The Role of Employment Quota," MPRA Paper 11010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Solomon W. Polachek, 2019. "Equal pay legislation and the gender wage gap," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 1-16, October.
    4. Sloane, Peter J. & Grazier, Suzanne & Jones, Richard J., 2005. "Preferences, Gender Segregation and Affirmative Action," IZA Discussion Papers 1881, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Hélène Périvier, 2008. "Les femmes sur le marché du travail aux Etats-Unis," Sciences Po publications 2008-12, Sciences Po.
    6. Prakash, Nishith, 2020. "The Impact of Employment Quotas on the Economic Lives of Disadvantaged Minorities in India," IZA Discussion Papers 13847, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Prakash, Nishith, 2020. "The impact of employment quotas on the economic lives of disadvantaged minorities in India," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 494-509.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. David Neumark & Harry Holzer, 2000. "Assessing Affirmative Action," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 483-568, September.
    2. Fidan Ana Kurtulus, 2015. "The Impact of Affirmative Action on the Employment of Minorities and Women over Three Decades: 1973-2003," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 15-221, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    3. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:3143-3259 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Conrad Miller, 2017. "The Persistent Effect of Temporary Affirmative Action," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 152-190, July.
    5. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1985. "The Effectiveness of Equal Employment Law and Affirmative Action Regulation," NBER Working Papers 1745, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. William J. Collins, 2001. "Race, Roosevelt, and Wartime Production: Fair Employment in World War II Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 272-286, March.
    7. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1984. "Antidiscrimination or Reverse Discrimination: The Impact of Changing Demographics, Title VII, and Affirmative Action on Productivity," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(2), pages 145-174.
    8. Brishti Guha & Prabal Roy Chowdhury, 2015. "Affirmative action in the presence of a creamy layer," Discussion Papers 15-06, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi.
    9. Leonard, Jonathan S, 1984. "The Impact of Affirmative Action on Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 439-463, October.
    10. Thomas C. Buchmueller & John DiNardo & Robert G. Valletta, 2011. "The Effect of an Employer Health Insurance Mandate on Health Insurance Coverage and the Demand for Labor: Evidence from Hawaii," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 25-51, November.
    11. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Patricia Esteve-González & Anwesha Mukherjee, 2020. "Heterogeneity, Leveling the Playing Field, and Affirmative Action in Contests," Economics Series Working Papers 915, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    12. Guha, Brishti & Roy Chowdhury, Prabal, 2017. "Affirmative Action in the Presence of a Creamy Layer: Identity or Class Based?," MPRA Paper 78686, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Adams, Scott & Neumark, David, 2005. "The effects of living wage laws: Evidence from failed and derailed living wage campaigns," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 177-202, September.
    14. Holzer, Harry & Neumark, David, 1999. "Are Affirmative Action Hires Less Qualified? Evidence from Employer-Employee Data on New Hires," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 534-569, July.
    15. Cornelissen, Thomas & Sonderhof, Katja, 2008. "Marginal effects in the probit model with a triple dummy variable interaction term," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-386, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    16. 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.
    17. Heather Antecol & Peter Kuhn, "undated". "Employment Equity Programs and the Job Search Outcomes of Men and Women: Actual and Perceived Effects," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 23, McMaster University.
    18. Jaewoo Ryoo, "undated". ""Statistical Discrimination, Affirmative Action, and Mismatch''," CARESS Working Papres 95-06, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
    19. Harry J. Holzer & David Neumark, 2006. "Affirmative action: What do we know?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 463-490.
    20. Steinar Holden & Asa Rosen, 2009. "Discrimination and Employment Protection," CESifo Working Paper Series 2822, CESifo.
    21. Osorio, António (António Miguel), 2019. "Gender differences in competition: gender equality and cost reduction policies," Working Papers 2072/351587, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:60:y:2007:i:3:p:379-396. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.