NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Affirmative Action in Hierarchies

Suzanne Scotchmer

NBER Working Paper No. 11213
Issued in March 2005
NBER Program(s):   LS   LE

If promotion in a hierarchy is based on a random signal of ability, rates of promotion will be affected by risk-taking. Further, the numbers and abilities of risk-takers and non-risk-takers will be different at each stage of the hierarchy, and the ratio will be changing. I show that, under mild conditions, more risk-takers than non-risk-takers will survive at early stages, but they will have lower ability. At later stages, this will be reversed: Fewer risk-takers than non-risk-takers survive, but they will have higher ability. I give several interpretations for how these theorems relate to affirmative action, in light of considerable evidence that males are more risk-taking than females.

download in pdf format
   (518 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (518 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11213

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Fryer and Loury w11464 Affirmative Action and Its Mythology
Fryer, Loury, and Yuret w10103 Color-Blind Affirmative Action
Holzer and Neumark w6605 What Does Affirmative Action Do?
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us