What Does Affirmative Action Do?
Posted: 26 Nov 1999
The authors use data from a survey of employers to investigate how Affirmative Action in recruiting and hiring influences hiring practices, personnel policies, and ultimately employment outcomes. They find that Affirmative Action increases the number of recruitment and screening practices used by employers, raises employers' willingness to hire stigmatized applicants, increases the number of minority or female applicants as well as employees, and increases employers' tendencies to provide training and formally evaluate employees. When Affirmative Action is used in recruiting, it generally does not lead to lower credentials or performance of women and minorities hired. When it is also used in hiring, it yields minority employees whose credentials are somewhat weaker, though performance generally is not. Overall, the more intensive search, evaluation, and training that accompany Affirmative Action appear to offset any tendencies of the policy to lead to hiring of less-qualified or less-productive women and minorities.
JEL Classification: J15, J71
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation