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Mentoring and Diversity

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  • Susan Athey

Abstract

We study how diversity evolves at a firm with entry-level and upper-level employees who vary in ability and "type" (gender or ethnicity). The ability of entry-level employees is increased by mentoring. An employ receives more mentoring when more upper-level employees have the same type. Optimal promotions are biased by type, and this bias may favor either the minority or the majority. We characterize possible steady states, including a "glass ceiling," where the upper level remains less diverse than the entry level. A firm may have multiple steady states, whereby temporary affirmative-action policies have a long-run impact.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Athey, 1998. "Mentoring and Diversity," Working papers 98-2, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:98-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1994. "Comparing Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 441-459, June.
    2. Rosen, Asa, 1997. "An equilibrium search-matching model of discrimination," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1589-1613, August.
    3. Stephen J. Spurr, 1990. "Sex Discrimination in the Legal Profession: A Study of Promotion," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(4), pages 406-417, July.
    4. Kenneth Arrow, 1971. "The Theory of Discrimination," Working Papers 403, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    5. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-180, January.
    6. Bergmann, Barbara R, 1989. "Does the Market for Women's Labor Need Fixing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 43-60, Winter.
    7. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-950, October.
    8. 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 525-548, June.
    9. Cornell, Bradford & Welch, Ivo, 1996. "Culture, Information, and Screening Discrimination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 542-571, June.
    10. Carmichael, H Lorne, 1988. "Incentives in Academics: Why Is There Tenure?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 453-472, June.
    11. Prescott, Edward C & Visscher, Michael, 1980. "Organization Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 446-461, June.
    12. Coate, Stephen & Loury, Glenn C, 1993. "Will Affirmative-Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1220-1240, December.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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