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Are Affirmative Action Hires Less Qualified? Evidence from Employer-Employee Data on New Hires

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  • Holzer, Harry
  • Neumark, David

Abstract

The authors use microlevel data on employers and employees from a sample of establishments in four major metropolitan areas in the United States to investigate whether Affirmative Action leads to the hiring of minority or female employees who are less qualified. Their measures of qualifications include the educational attainment of the workers hired and a variety of outcome measures related to worker performance on the job. The authors find evidence of lower educational qualifications among women and minorities hired under Affirmative Action. However, they do not find evidence of weaker job performance among most groups of minority and female Affirmative Action hires. Copyright 1999 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:17:y:1999:i:3:p:534-69
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, "undated". "Employer Learning and the Signaling Value of Education," IPR working papers 96-11, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
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    12. 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.
    13. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eddy Ng & Willi Wiesner, 2007. "Are Men Always Picked Over Women? The Effects of Employment Equity Directives on Selection Decisions," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 76(2), pages 177-187, December.
    2. repec:aea:jeclit:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:789-865 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:corfin:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:651-668 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. David Neumark, 1998. "Labor Market Information and Wage Differentials by Race and Sex," NBER Working Papers 6573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Hutchens, R & Nolen, PJ, 2006. "Will The Real Family-Friendly Employer Please Stand Up: Who Permits Parents To Reduce Working Hours For Purposes of Childcare?," Economics Discussion Papers 2905, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    6. Beaurain, Guillaume & Masclet, David, 2016. "Does affirmative action reduce gender discrimination and enhance efficiency? New experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 350-362.
    7. Joanne D. Leck, 2002. "Making Employment Equity Programs Work for Women," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(s1), pages 85-100, May.
    8. Hutchens, Robert M., 2007. "Worker Characteristics, Job Characteristics, and Opportunities for Phased Retirement," IZA Discussion Papers 2564, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Prakash, Nishith, 2008. "Improving the Labor Market Outcomes of Minorities: The Role of Employment Quota," MPRA Paper 11010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2017. "The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(3), pages 789-865, September.
    11. Cecilia Rouse & Claudia Goldin, 2000. "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 715-741, September.
    12. Barbara F. Reskin & Denise D. Bielby, 2005. "A Sociological Perspective on Gender and Career Outcomes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 71-86, Winter.
    13. T. Clifton Green & Narasimhan Jegadeesh & Yue Tang, 2007. "Gender and Job Performance: Evidence from Wall Street," NBER Working Papers 12897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Marcela Ibanez & Gerhard Riener & Ashok Rai, 2013. "Sorting Through Affirmative Action: Two Field Experiments in Colombia," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 150, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    15. Picault Julien, 2017. "Risk-Averse Managers, Labour Market Structures, Public Policies and Discrimination," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-36, January.
    16. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:3143-3259 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. H. J. Holzer, "undated". "Why do small establishments hire fewer blacks than large ones," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1119-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    18. 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.
    19. Alex Coad & Sven-Olov Daunfeldt & Dan Johansson & Karl Wennberg, 2014. "Whom do high-growth firms hire?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 293-327, February.
    20. Hutchens, Robert M. & Grace-Martin, Karen, 2004. "Who Among White Collar Workers Has an Opportunity for Phased Retirement? Establishment Characteristics," IZA Discussion Papers 1155, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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