Perceived Fairness and Consequences of Affirmative Action Policies

49 Pages Posted: 14 May 2020

See all articles by Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch

Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Chi Trieu

Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE)

Jana Willrodt

University of Bonn

Abstract

Debates about affirmative action often revolve around fairness. Accordingly, we document substantial heterogeneity in the fairness perception of various affirmative action policies. But do these differences translate into different consequences? In a laboratory experiment, we study three different quota rules that favor individuals whose performance is low, either due to bad luck (discrimination), low productivity, or choice of a short working time. Higher fairness perceptions coincide with a higher willingness to compete and less retaliation against winners. No policy harms overall efficiency or post-competition teamwork. Furthermore, individuals seem to internalize the normbehind the policies that are perceived as fairest.

Keywords: experiment, fairness ideals, affirmative action, tournament, real effort

JEL Classification: C91, D02, D63

Suggested Citation

Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah and Trieu, Chi and Willrodt, Jana, Perceived Fairness and Consequences of Affirmative Action Policies. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13202, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3596668

Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch (Contact Author)

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf ( email )

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Chi Trieu

Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) ( email )

Universitaetsstr. 1
Duesseldorf, NRW 40225
Germany
40225 (Fax)

Jana Willrodt

University of Bonn ( email )

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

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