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Diversity, discrimination, and performance

  • Leonard, Jonathan S.
  • Levine, David I.

Employee diversity may affect business performance both as a result of customer discrimination and as a result of how members of a group work with each other in teams. We test for both channels with data from more than 800 retail stores employing over 70,000 individuals, matched to Census data on the demographics of the community. We find little payoff to matching employee demographics to those of potential customers except when the customers do not speak English. Diversity of race or gender within the workplace does not predict sales or sales growth, although age diversity predicts low sales.

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Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt19d1c3n3.

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Date of creation: 10 Jan 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt19d1c3n3
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  1. Lang, Kevin, 1986. "A Language Theory of Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 363-82, May.
  2. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 2000. "School Quality and the Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 755-774.
  3. Harry J. Holzer & Keith R. Ihlanfeldt, 1998. "Customer Discrimination And Employment Outcomes For Minority Workers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 835-867, August.
  4. Kahn, Lawrence M & Sherer, Peter D, 1988. "Racial Differences in Professional Basketball Players' Compensation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 40-61, January.
  5. Nardinelli, Clark & Simon, Curtis, 1990. "Customer Racial Discrimination in the Market for Memorabilia: The Case of Baseball," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 575-95, August.
  6. Jonathan S. Leonard & David I. Levine, 2006. "Effect of diversity on turnover: A large case study," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(4), pages 547-572, July.
  7. Thomas S. Dee, 2004. "Teachers, Race, and Student Achievement in a Randomized Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 195-210, February.
  8. Paul Gabriel & Curtis Johnson & Timothy Stanton, 1999. "Customer racial discrimination for baseball memorabilia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(11), pages 1331-1335.
  9. Andersen, Torben & La Croix, Sumner J, 1991. "Customer Racial Discrimination in Major League Baseball," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(4), pages 665-77, October.
  10. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-48, June.
  11. Lawrence M. Kahn, 1991. "Discrimination in professional sports: A survey of the literature," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(3), pages 395-418, April.
  12. Gabriel, Paul E & Johnson, Curtis & Stanton, Timothy J, 1995. "An Examination of Customer Racial Discrimination in the Market for Baseball Memorabilia," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(2), pages 215-30, April.
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