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Justification as a Key Determinant of the Success of Affirmative Action

Author

Listed:
  • Lea Petters

    (University of Cologne)

  • Marina Schroeder

    (University of Cologne)

Abstract

Quotas are a common but controversial instrument to reduce discrimination. We experimentally analyze the impact of awareness of exisiting discrimination on the effectiveness of quotas. Between treatments, we vary whether or not a quota is implemented and whether or not the affirmed group is discriminated against. We find that quotas lead to a decrease in performance of affirmed individuals. Absent of discrimination, quotas increase sabotage and reduce help received by affirmed individuals. We do not observe these undesirable effects in the presence of discrimination. Thus, perceived justification has a crucial impact on the effect of quota interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Lea Petters & Marina Schroeder, 2017. "Justification as a Key Determinant of the Success of Affirmative Action," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 08-01, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgr:cgsser:08-01
    as

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    File URL: http://www.cgs.uni-koeln.de/fileadmin/wiso_fak/cgs/pdf/working_paper/cgswp_08-01.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Balafoutas, Loukas & Davis, Brent J. & Sutter, Matthias, 2016. "Affirmative action or just discrimination? A study on the endogenous emergence of quotas," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 87-98.
    2. Linda Babcock & Maria P. Recalde & Lise Vesterlund & Laurie Weingart, 2017. "Gender Differences in Accepting and Receiving Requests for Tasks with Low Promotability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(3), pages 714-747, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    affirmative action; quota; sabotage; real effort; peer evaluation; fairness; discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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