Antidiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policies: Economic Efficiency and the Constitution
Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 36, No. 2, pp. 293-337, 1998
45 Pages Posted: 27 May 2008
Date Written: 1998
This article assesses the economic efficiency of racebased antidiscrimination and affirmative action policies with a view to assessing relevant Canadian and American consitutional law. The article reviews economic arguments about why antidiscrimination laws may be efficient in addressing externalities, in hastening the exit of bigoted employers from the market, and in preventing the potentially inefficient use of race as a proxy for information; affirmative action may be efficient in accounting for differential signaling costs across race. The article concludes that economic analysis supports the approach in section 15 of the Charter which generally bans discriminatory government action, but recognizes that affirmative action is not inconsistent with the pursuit of substantive equality.
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