Choice with Affirmative Action
33 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2020 Last revised: 18 Oct 2021
Date Written: October 17, 2021
A choice rule with affirmative action decides on the recipients of a limited number of identical objects by reconciling two objectives: respecting a priority ordering over the applicants and supporting a minority group. We extend the standard formulation of a choice problem by incorporating a type function and a priority ordering, and introduce monotonicity axioms on how a choice rule should respond to variations in these parameters. We show that monotonic and substitutable affirmative action rules are the ones that admit a bounded reserve representation. As a prominent class of choice rules that satisfy the monotonicity axioms, we characterize lexicographic affirmative action rules that are prevalent both in the literature and in practice. Our axiomatic approach provides a novel way to think about reserve systems and uncovers choice rules that go beyond lexicographic affirmative action rules.
Keywords: affirmative action, bounded reserve representation, lexicographic choice.
JEL Classification: C78, D47, D71, D78
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation