Negative Side Effects of Affirmative Action - How Quotas Lead to Distortions in Performance Evaluation

34 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2019

See all articles by Lea Petters

Lea Petters

University of Cologne

Marina Schröder

University of Cologne - Department of Personnel Economics

Date Written: June 18, 2019

Abstract

We study the impact of affirmative action on peer-review behavior. We conduct a real-effort tournament experiment, in which prizes are awarded according to peer-review results. Between treatments, we vary whether or not a quota is implemented and whether or not affirmed individuals face ex-ante procedural disadvantages. We find that quotas lead to distorted peer-reviews, where affirmed individuals receive significantly less favorable reviews than non-affirmed peers with similar performance. Distortions in peer-reviews are robust to changes in ex-ante procedural fairness and seem to be driven by enhanced competition among affirmed individuals.

Keywords: Affirmative action, Quota, Peer-review, Creative work, Real effort, Procedural fairness

JEL Classification: C92, J33, J71, M51

Suggested Citation

Petters, Lea and Schröder, Marina, Negative Side Effects of Affirmative Action - How Quotas Lead to Distortions in Performance Evaluation (June 18, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3417102 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3417102

Lea Petters (Contact Author)

University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

Marina Schröder

University of Cologne - Department of Personnel Economics ( email )

Cologne, 50923
Germany

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