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Antidiscrimination or Reverse Discrimination: The Impact of Changing Demographics, Title VII, and Affirmative Action on Productivity

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  • Jonathan S. Leonard

Abstract

This study estimates the changes over time in the relative productivities of minorities and females. I find no significant evidence that the productivity of minorities or females decreased relative to that of white males as relative minority and female employment increased during the 1960s and 1970s. This study also compares the impact of Title VII and affirmative action and presents evidence that Title VII litigation has played a significant role in increasing black employment. This suggests that the employment of minorities and females has not entailed large efficiency costs and that Title VII litigation has had some success in fighting racial discrimination. The EEOC has sometimes been credited with opening up new pools of labor that corporations somehow contrived to ignore, and occasionally with hastening the breakdown of traditional barriers to labor mobility.... But in the context of the market's endless search for efficiency, these anomalies would have been eliminated anyway, leaving only the question of whether they were worth the expenditures compelled by law. Affirmative action is a net cost to the economy....And the true dynamic effects-the opportunity cost of all this expense and effort, the diminution of competition, inefficiencies due to the employment and promotion of marginal labor and the consequent demoralization of good workers-can only be a matter of conjecture, although they are clearly the most important of all. Senator Orrin Hatch, 1980

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:19:y:1984:i:2:p:145-174
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    1. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1978. "Trade Unions in the Production Process," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 355-378, June.
    2. Charles Brown, 1981. "The Federal Attack on Labor Market Discrimination: The Mouse that Roared?," NBER Working Papers 0669, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Zvi Griliches, 1967. "Production Functions in Manufacturing: Some Preliminary Results," NBER Chapters,in: The Theory and Empirical Analysis of Production, pages 275-340 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Orley Ashenfelter & James J. Heckman, 1974. "Measuring the Effect of an Anti-Discrimination Program," NBER Working Papers 0050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. James J. Heckman & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1976. "Does the Contract Compliance Program Work? An Analysis of Chicago Data," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 29(4), pages 544-564, July.
    7. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Judith Fields & Edward N. Wolff, 1997. "Gender Wage Differentials, Affirmative Action, and Employment Growth on the Industry Level," Macroeconomics 9711005, EconWPA.
    2. Joyce Burnette, 2011. "The Emergence of Wage Discrimination in U.S. Manufacturing," Working Papers 11-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Zeynep Hansen & Hideo Owan & Jie Pan, 2006. "The Impact of Group Diversity on Performance and Knowledge Spillover -- An Experiment in a College Classroom," NBER Working Papers 12251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Linda Barrington & Kenneth R. Troske, 2001. "Workforce Diversity and Productivity: An Analysis of Employer-Employee Match Data," Economics Program Working Papers 01-02, The Conference Board, Economics Program.
    5. repec:ilo:ilowps:298713 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kurtulus, Fidan Ana & Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald, 2012. "Do Women Top Managers Help Women Advance? A Panel Study Using EEO-1 Records," IZA Discussion Papers 6444, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Rutherglen G., 1994. "Protecting aliens, immigrants, and ethnic minorities from discrimination in employment : the experience in the United States," ILO Working Papers 992987133402676, International Labour Organization.
    8. Noel Uri & J. Mixon, 1992. "Effects of U.S. equal employment opportunity and affirmative action programs on women's employment stability," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 113-126, May.
    9. H. J. Holzer, "undated". "Employer hiring decisions and antidiscrimination policy," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1085-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    10. 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.
    11. repec:bla:labour:v:31:y:2017:i:2:p:204-222 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Ferreira, José Luis, 1996. "Solidaridad social y responsabilidad individual. Segunda parte: La economía de la discriminación y el II Plan de Igualdad de Oportunidades para las Mujeres," DE - Documentos de Trabajo. Economía. DE 3376, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    13. Justin McCrary, 2006. "The Effect of Court-Ordered Hiring Quotas on the Composition and Quality of Police," NBER Working Papers 12368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. 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.
    15. Tim Callan & Anne Wren, 1992. "An Economy-Wide Investigation of Sex Differences in Wage Rates," Papers WP034, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    16. Shelly J. Lundberg, 1989. "Equality And Efficiency: Antidiscrimination Policies In The Labor Market," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 7(1), pages 75-94, January.
    17. Mirjam Strupler Leiser & Stefan C. Wolter, 2017. "Empirical Evidence on the Effectiveness of Social Public Procurement Policy: The Case of the Swiss Apprenticeship Training System," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 31(2), pages 204-222, June.
    18. Fidan Ana Kurtulus & Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, 2011. "Do Women Top Managers Help Women Advance? A Panel Study Using EEO-1 Records," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2011-14, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    19. Andrew M. Francis & Maria Tannuri-Pianto, 2012. "Using Brazil’s Racial Continuum to Examine the Short-Term Effects of Affirmative Action in Higher Education," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(3), pages 754-784.

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