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What Promises Are Worth: The Impact of Affirmative Action Goals

  • Jonathan S. Leonard

Affirmative action goals and timetables have been criticized by some as being ineffective and by others as being a system of rigid quotas. In this paper I present estimates of the impact of detailed regulatory pressure on goals and on subsequent demographics. While the goals are inflated and are not being fulfilled with the rigidity one might expect of quotas, the establishments that promise to employ more minorities and females do actually employ more in subsequent years. While the detailed enforcement tools are of doubtful utility, the system of affirmative action goals does appear to have promoted increases in minority and female employment at reviewed establishments.

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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/145782
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 20 (1985)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 3-20

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:20:y:1985:i:1:p:3-20
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1984. "The Impact of Affirmative Action on Employment," NBER Working Papers 1310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Richard Butler & James J. Heckman, 1977. "The Government's Impact on the Labor Market Status of Black Americans: A Critical Review," NBER Working Papers 0183, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. James J. Heckman & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1976. "Does the contract compliance program work? An analysis of Chicago data," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 29(4), pages 544-564, July.
  4. Morris Goldstein & Robert S. Smith, 1976. "The estimated impact of the antidiscrimination program aimed at federal contractors," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 29(4), pages 523-543, July.
  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.
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