Asymmetric Tournaments, Equal Opportunity Laws and Affirmative Action: Some Experimental Results
This paper assesses whether affirmative action programs and equal opportunity laws affect the output of economic agents. More precisely, the authors find that equal opportunity laws and affirmative action programs always benefit disadvantaged groups. Equal opportunity laws also increase the effort levels of all subjects and, hence, the profits of the tournament administrator (usually the firm). The effects of affirmative action programs depend on the severity of a group's cost disadvantage. When the cost disadvantage is severe, these programs significantly increase effort levels (and, hence, profits). The opposite is true when the disadvantage is slight. Copyright 1992, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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