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Affirmative action or just discrimination? A study on the endogenous emergence of quotas

Author

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  • Loukas Balafoutas

    ()

  • Brent J. Davis

    ()

  • Matthias Sutter

    ()

Abstract

Affirmative action rules are often implemented to promote women on labor markets. Little is known, however, about how and whether such rules emerge endogenously in groups of potentially affected subjects. We experimentally investigate whether subjects vote for affirmative action rules, against, or abstain. If approved by the vote, a quota rule is implemented that favors women in one treatment, but members of an artificially created group based on random color assignment in another treatment. We find that quota rules based on gender are implemented frequently and do not affect the performance of men and women in a contest. Quota rules based on an arbitrary criterion, however, are less often approved and lead to strong individual reactions of advantaged and disadvantaged group members and to efficiency losses. These results show that the effects of affirmative action policies largely depend on whether these policies are viewed favorably within the affected groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Loukas Balafoutas & Brent J. Davis & Matthias Sutter, 2016. "Affirmative action or just discrimination? A study on the endogenous emergence of quotas," Working Papers 2016-10, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2016-10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Banerjee, Ritwik & Gupta, Nabanita Datta & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2018. "The spillover effects of affirmative action on competitiveness and unethical behavior," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 567-604.
    2. Banerjee, Ritwik & Gupta, Nabanita Datta & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2018. "The spillover effects of affirmative action on competitiveness and unethical behavior," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 567-604.
    3. Victoire Girard, 2016. "Mandated political representation and crimes against the low castes," WIDER Working Paper Series 074, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Felix Koelle, 2016. "Affirmative Action and Team Performance," Discussion Papers 2016-20, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    5. Fallucchi, Francesco & Quercia, Simone, 2018. "Affirmative action and retaliation in experimental contests," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 23-40.
    6. Lina Marcela Ramírez Leguizamón, 2019. "The paradox of equality policies and meritocracy in female leadership," Documentos CEDE 017371, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:86-96 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:joepsy:v:62:y:2017:i:c:p:50-62 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Jeffrey A. Flory & Andreas Leibbrandt & Christina Rott & Olga Stoddard, 2018. "Increasing Workplace Diversity: Evidence from a Recruiting Experiment at a Fortune 500 Company," CESifo Working Paper Series 7025, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Francesco Fallucchi & Simone Quercia, 2016. "Affirmative action and retaliation in experimental contests," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 16-03, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    12. Edwin Ip & Andreas Leibbrandt & Joseph Vecci, 2018. "How Do Gender Quotas Affect Hierarchical Relationships? Complementary Evidence from a Respresentative Survey and Labor Market Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 6915, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Affirmative action; competition; discrimination; experiment; voting;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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