"Soft" Affirmative Action and Minority Recruitment
AbstractWe study search, evaluation, and selection of candidates of unknown quality for a position. We examine the effects of "soft" affirmative action policies increasing the relative percentage of minority candidates in the candidate pool. We show that, while meant to encourage minority hiring, such policies may backfire if the evaluation of minority candidates is noisier than that of nonminorities. This may occur even if minorities are at least as qualified and as valuable as nonminorities. The results provide a possible explanation for why certain soft affirmative action policies have proved counterproductive, even in the absence of (implicit) bias.
CitationFershtman, Daniel, and Alessandro Pavan. 2021. ""Soft" Affirmative Action and Minority Recruitment." American Economic Review: Insights, 3 (1): 1-18. DOI: 10.1257/aeri.20200196
- J15 Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- J23 Labor Demand
- J24 Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- M51 Personnel Economics: Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions