Mentoring and the Dynamics of Affirmative Action
- American Economic Journal: Economic Policy (Forthcoming)
We analyze the long-term workforce composition when the quality
of mentoring available to majority and minority juniors depends
on their representation in the workforce. A workforce with at least
50% majority workers invariably converges to one where the majority is over-represented relative to the population. To maximize welfare, persistent interventions, such as group-specific fellowships,
are often needed, and the optimal workforce may include minority
workers of lower innate talent than the marginal majority worker.
We discuss the role of mentorship determinants, talent dispersion,
the scope of short-term interventions, various policy instruments
and contrast our results to the classic fairness narrative.
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