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Anti-Discrimination or Reverse Discrimination: The Impact of Changing Demographics, Title VII and Affirmative Action on Productivity

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  • Jonathan S. Leonard

Abstract

Opponents of the integration by race and gender of the American workplace have argued that forced equity will entail reduced productivity as employers are forced to hire lower quality females and minorities. The numerous wage equation studies always reach the same dead-end: residual differences across race or gender are due either to discrimination or to unobserved quality differences. This study takes a new approach, and directly estimates over time the ratio of minority to white male, and of female to white male productivity, using a new two-digit SIC industry by state production function data set for 1966 and 1977. The major finding is that there is no significant evidence that the productivity of minorities or females decreased relative to that of white males as relative minority and female employment increased during the 1960's and 1970's. This study also presents evidence that Title VII litigation has played a significant role in increasing black employment. This suggests that the employment of minorities and females has not entailed large efficiency costs, and that Title VII litigation has had some success in fighting racial discrimination. Direct tests of the impact of Title VII litigation and affirmative action regulation also find no significant evidence that these policies have contributed to a productivity reduction.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan S. Leonard, 1983. "Anti-Discrimination or Reverse Discrimination: The Impact of Changing Demographics, Title VII and Affirmative Action on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 1240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1240
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1978. "Trade Unions in the Production Process," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 355-378, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Judith Fields & Edward N. Wolff, 1997. "Gender Wage Differentials, Affirmative Action, and Employment Growth on the Industry Level," Macroeconomics 9711005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Joyce Burnette, 2011. "The Emergence of Wage Discrimination in U.S. Manufacturing," Working Papers 11-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Zeynep Hansen & Hideo Owan & Jie Pan, 2006. "The Impact of Group Diversity on Performance and Knowledge Spillover -- An Experiment in a College Classroom," NBER Working Papers 12251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Linda Barrington & Kenneth R. Troske, 2001. "Workforce Diversity and Productivity: An Analysis of Employer-Employee Match Data," Economics Program Working Papers 01-02, The Conference Board, Economics Program.
    5. repec:ilo:ilowps:298713 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Rutherglen G., 1994. "Protecting aliens, immigrants, and ethnic minorities from discrimination in employment : the experience in the United States," ILO Working Papers 992987133402676, International Labour Organization.
    7. Kurtulus, Fidan Ana & Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald, 2012. "Do Women Top Managers Help Women Advance? A Panel Study Using EEO-1 Records," IZA Discussion Papers 6444, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Noel Uri & J. Mixon, 1992. "Effects of U.S. equal employment opportunity and affirmative action programs on women's employment stability," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 113-126, May.
    9. H. J. Holzer, "undated". "Employer hiring decisions and antidiscrimination policy," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1085-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    10. Holzer, Harry & Neumark, David, 1999. "Are Affirmative Action Hires Less Qualified? Evidence from Employer-Employee Data on New Hires," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 534-569, July.
    11. repec:bla:labour:v:31:y:2017:i:2:p:204-222 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Ferreira, José Luis, 1996. "Solidaridad social y responsabilidad individual. Segunda parte: La economía de la discriminación y el II Plan de Igualdad de Oportunidades para las Mujeres," DE - Documentos de Trabajo. Economía. DE 3376, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    13. Justin McCrary, 2006. "The Effect of Court-Ordered Hiring Quotas on the Composition and Quality of Police," NBER Working Papers 12368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Zeynep Hansen & Hideo Owan & Jie Pan, 2015. "The impact of group diversity on class performance: evidence from college classrooms," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(2), pages 238-258, April.
    15. Harry J. Holzer & David Neumark, 2006. "Affirmative action: What do we know?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 463-490.
    16. Tim Callan & Anne Wren, 1992. "An Economy-Wide Investigation of Sex Differences in Wage Rates," Papers WP034, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    17. Shelly J. Lundberg, 1989. "Equality And Efficiency: Antidiscrimination Policies In The Labor Market," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 7(1), pages 75-94, January.
    18. Suzanne Heller Clain & Karen Leppel, 2001. "An investigation into sexual orientation discrimination as an explanation for wage differences," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 37-47.
    19. Mirjam Strupler Leiser & Stefan C. Wolter, 2017. "Empirical Evidence on the Effectiveness of Social Public Procurement Policy: The Case of the Swiss Apprenticeship Training System," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 31(2), pages 204-222, June.
    20. Fidan Ana Kurtulus & Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, 2011. "Do Women Top Managers Help Women Advance? A Panel Study Using EEO-1 Records," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2011-14, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    21. Andrew M. Francis & Maria Tannuri-Pianto, 2012. "Using Brazil’s Racial Continuum to Examine the Short-Term Effects of Affirmative Action in Higher Education," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(3), pages 754-784.

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