Splitting Blacks?: Affirmative Action and Earnings Inequality within and Across Races
NBER Working Paper No. 1327
Critics have said that affirmative action is at best ineffective and at worst counterproductive. In particular, it has been argued that if affirmative action helps anybody, it helps only the highly educated cream of the minority population, and may perversely work to the detriment of the unskilled and uneducated. This study finds that minority males earn higher wages in sectors where affirmative action is prevalent, indicating that it has increased the demand for minority males. I also find evidence of this effect for both the lowly and highly educated, suggesting that affirmative action under the Executive Order has not contributed to the economic bifurcation of the minority community.
Published: Leonard, Jonathan S. "Splitting Blacks?: Affirmative Action and Earnings Inequality within and Across Races," Proceddings of the Industrial Relations Research Association, 39th Annual Meeting, (Winter 1986), pp. 51-57.