Transitions in Affirmative Action
Nicholas L. Georgakopoulos
Indiana University - Robert H. McKinney School of Law
University of Alaska Fairbanks - School of Management (SOM)
A social preference for proportional participation in labor markets of minorities (whether those are defined by race, origin, gender, sexual preference, religion, or any other attribute) typically implies a transition from a discriminatory regime to one of proportional participation. In this paper we examine this transition in a formal model of a minority, an employer and an educator. We use the implications of our model to appraise the legal responses to discrimination, using examples primarily from gender discrimination. The law is found to inhibit this transition, to prevent operation of its own provisions favoring minorities in cases of past discrimination, to ignore means other than the elimination of structural discrimination for increasing minority participation, to prevent coordination of educators and employers that could further policy goals, and to prevent agreements that would provide the public good of integration. A minor advantage, however, may be seen in the prohibition of favoring minorities if it is interpreted as forcing coordination of employers and educators.
working papers series
Date posted: May 4, 1998
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