The Inelastic Demand for Affirmative Action

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Title: The Inelastic Demand for Affirmative Action
Authors: Getik, DemidIslam, MarcoSamahita, Margaret
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Date: May-2021
Online since: 2021-05-31T12:06:24Z
Abstract: We study the origins of support for gender-related affirmative action (AA) in two pre-registered online experiments (N = 1, 700). Participants act as employers who decide whether to use AA in hiring job candidates. We implement three treatments to disentangle the preference for AA stemming from i) perceived gender differences in productivity, ii) beliefs about AA effects on productivity, or iii) other non-material motives. To test i), we provide information to employers that there is no gender gap in productivity. To test ii), we inform the candidates about the hiring rule ex-ante, allowing us to observe how AA is expected to affect productivity. To test iii), we remove the payment to the employers based on the chosen candidates’ productivity, thus making AA cheaper. We do not find significant differences in AA support across treatments, despite successfully altering beliefs about expected productivity differences. Our results suggest that AA choice reflects a more intrinsic and inelastic preference for advancing female candidates.
Funding Details: Centre for Economic Demography at Lund University
Institute of Economic Research at Lund University
Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Economics
Start page: 1
End page: 47
Series/Report no.: UCD Centre for Economic Research Working Paper Series; WP2021/12
Copyright (published version): 2021 the Authors
Keywords: Affirmative actionBeliefsGenderInformationInstitution
JEL Codes: C91; D02; D83; J38; J71
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License:
Appears in Collections:Geary Institute Research Collection
Economics Working Papers & Policy Papers

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