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Does affirmative action work

01 Jan 2005-The Regional Review (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)-pp 38-40
TL;DR: After four decades, we are still debating how much impact affirmative action can and should have on opportunities and outcomes at work as discussed by the authors, and how to determine the impact of affirmative action.
Abstract: After four decades, we are still debating how much impact affirmative action can and should have on opportunities and outcomes at work.
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examine the contribution of affirmative action to the occupational advancement of minorities and women from low-wage unskilled occupations into high-wage skilled ones in U.S. firms.
Abstract: The share of minorities and women comprising high-paying skilled occupations such as management, professional, and technical occupations has been increasing since the 1960s, while the proportion of white men in such occupations has been declining. What has been the contribution of affirmative action to the occupational advancement of minorities and women from low-wage unskilled occupations into high-wage skilled ones in U.S. firms? I examine this by comparing the occupational position of minorities and women at firms holding federal contracts, and thereby mandated to implement affirmative action, and noncontracting firms, over the course of 31 years during 1973–2003. I use a new longitudinal dataset of over 100,000 large private-sector firms across all industries and regions uniquely suited for the exploration of this question obtained from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. My key findings show that the share of minorities and women in high-paying skilled occupations grew more at federal contractors subject to affirmative action obligation than at noncontracting firms during the three decades under study, but these advances took place primarily during the pre- and early Reagan years and during the decade following the Glass Ceiling Act of 1991.

47 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors studied the role of affirmative action in the growth of minority and female employment in U.S. private-sector firms and found that the primary beneficiaries of affirmative actions in federal contracting were black and Native American women and men.
Abstract: What role has affirmative action played in the growth of minority and female employment in U.S. firms? This paper presents a longitudinal analysis of this question by exploiting rich variation across firms in the timing of federal contracting to identify affirmative action effects over the course of three decades spanning 1973 to 2003. It constitutes the first study to comprehensively document the long-term and dynamic effects of affirmative action in federal contracting on employment composition within firms in the United States. I use a new panel of over 100,000 large private-sector firms from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including both firms that obtain federal contracts and are therefore mandated to implement affirmative action and firms that are noncontractors, across all industries and regions. The paper's key results indicate that the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action in federal contracting over 1973 to 2003 were black and Native American women and men. Dynamic event study analysis of workforce composition around the time of contracting reveals that a large part of the effect of affirmative action on increasing protected group shares occurred within the first four years of gaining a contract, and that these increased shares persisted even after a firm was no longer a federal contractor. The paper also uncovers important results on how the impact of affirmative action evolved over 1973 to 2003, in particular that the fastest growth in the employment shares of minorities and women at federal contractors relative to noncontracting firms occurred during the 1970s and early 1980s, decelerating substantially in ensuing years.

26 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examine public reactions to equal opportunity policies targeted at working class, black or Muslim Britons, and redistributive policies aiming to reduce inequality between the rich and the poor or between whites and ethnic minorities.
Abstract: Academics and policymakers have begun discussing ethnically focussed policies to offset the penalties ethnic minorities suffer due to discrimination, but little is known about how such policies would be received by the public. We employ new survey experiments fielded in Britain to examine public reactions to equal opportunity policies targeted at working class, black or Muslim Britons, and redistributive policies aiming to reduce inequality between the rich and the poor or between whites and ethnic minorities. We find widespread support for class- or income-targeted policies among white British respondents, but much lower support when identical policies are ethnically targeted. We find evidence for two mechanisms which help to explain this drop in support. Firstly, political and ideological values such as egalitarianism and support for an active state strongly predict support for class- and income-targeted policy, but have a much weaker effect on support for ethnically targeted policy. Secondly, h...

25 citations


Cites background from "Does affirmative action work"

  • ...One notable exception is Northern Ireland, where affirmative action policies have been used to combat religious discrimination (McCrudden, Ford, and Heath 2004; Muttarak et al. 2013)....

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01 Jan 2006

23 citations


Cites background from "Does affirmative action work"

  • ...(Blau and Winkler, 2005) The Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at the University of Bristol was engaged during July 2005 – February 2006 by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to identify successful positive action labour market policies in the United States of America (USA)…...

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examined the food safety standards followed by street-food vendors in two large cities of India, Hyderabad and Delhi in 2017 after the introduction of the Food Safety and Standards Rules.
Abstract: Risks exist anywhere along the food supply chain; however, the vast majority of negative safety outcomes occur during the handling, preparation, storage, retail and vending of food, and disposing of waste. This study examined the food safety standards followed by street-food vendors in two large cities of India, Hyderabad and Delhi in 2017 after the introduction of the Food Safety and Standards Rules. A survey was conducted in different socioeconomic groups among 200 street-food vendors to understand the compliance and practice of food safety standards in India. Only about one-third of the street-food vendors had registered to run food-vending shops, and most street-food vendors are not following basic food safety principles like wearing apron, access to tap water, were not able to use soap for cleaning utensils, and many did not have refrigerators to store food. The results show that vendors in high-income localities with higher education levels and duly registered were following more safety standards. From a policy perspective, the results show that India’s food safety standards are on a par with those of most developed countries, but that their actual implementation by street-food vendors is not duly assured. To avoid this situation, an exchange of experiences between street-food vendors and consumers should be promoted. “Clean street-food clubs” should be encouraged as one mechanism to recognize street vendors’ needs and to learn from consumers’ demands, so that the awareness of street-food vendors towards food safety standards is strengthened.

18 citations


Cites background from "Does affirmative action work"

  • ...According to the social hierarchy, the Constitution of India protects both last social groups with certain rights given historical disadvantage they suffered as a type of affirmative action policy (Bagde et al. 2016)....

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