Choice with Affirmative Action
40 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 15, 2020
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 introduce axioms on choice rules based on the principle that affirmative action is a limited resource where the intended beneficiaries are the minority applicants with relatively low priorities. We show that a choice rule satisfies our basic axioms if and only if it admits a lexicographic representation. Variations of our axioms yield characterizations of several classes of choice rules, which provide policy makers with a menu of principles and ways to implement them. In particular, we characterize a class of choice rules that admit a simple threshold-reserve representation, which decide on the intended beneficiaries simply based on a pre-specified threshold priority-rank.
Keywords: affirmative action, lexicographic representation, reserve-together, threshold- reserve
JEL Classification: C78, D47, D71, D78
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation