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Does Affirmative Action Reduce Effort Incentives? – A Contest Game Analysis

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  • Franke, Jörg

Abstract

This paper analyzes the incentive effects of affirmative action in competitive environments modeled as contest games. Competition is between heterogeneous players where heterogeneity might be due to past discrimination. Two policy options are analyzed that tackle the underlying asymmetry: Either it is ignored and the contestants are treated equally, or affirmative action is implemented which compensates discriminated players. It is shown in a simple two-player contest game that a tradeoff between affirmative action and high effort exertion does not exist. Instead, the implementation of affirmative action fosters effort incentives. Similar results hold in the n-player contest as well as under imperfect information if the heterogeneity between contestants is moderate.

Suggested Citation

  • Franke, Jörg, 2010. "Does Affirmative Action Reduce Effort Incentives? – A Contest Game Analysis," Ruhr Economic Papers 185, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:185
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gil S. Epstein & Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2013. "Lotteries vs. All-Pay Auctions in Fair and Biased Contests," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 48-60, March.
    2. Pastine, Ivan & Pastine, Tuvana, 2012. "Student incentives and preferential treatment in college admissions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 123-130.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asymmetric contest; affirmative action; discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)

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