Heterogeneity, Leveling the Playing Field, and Affirmative Action in Contests

69 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2020

See all articles by Subhasish M. Chowdhury

Subhasish M. Chowdhury

University of Bath - Department of Economics

Patricia Esteve-Gonzalez

University of Oxford - Department of Computer Science

Anwesha Mukherjee

Technische Universität München

Date Written: July 20, 2020

Abstract

The heterogeneous abilities of the players in various competitive contexts often lead to undesirable outcomes such as low effort provision, lack of diversity, and inequality. A range of policies are implemented to mitigate such issues by enforcing competitive balance, i.e., by leveling the playing field. Some of those policies, known as affirmative action (AA) policies, are practiced in an ethical response to historical discrimination against particular social groups, and are also aimed at increasing competition. This survey summarizes the rapidly growing literature of contest theory on AA and other policies that level the playing field. Using a general theoretical structure, we outline research on contest outcomes under a multitude of such policy mechanisms; and discuss the theoretical, experimental, and empirical findings in relation to some of the common debates surrounding AA.

Keywords: Survey, Affirmative Action, Contest, Heterogeneity

JEL Classification: A31, C72, D74, D82

Suggested Citation

Chowdhury, Subhasish M. and Esteve-Gonzalez, Patricia and Mukherjee, Anwesha, Heterogeneity, Leveling the Playing Field, and Affirmative Action in Contests (July 20, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3655727 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3655727

Subhasish M. Chowdhury (Contact Author)

University of Bath - Department of Economics ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/subhasishmc/

Patricia Esteve-Gonzalez

University of Oxford - Department of Computer Science ( email )

Wolfson Building, Parks Road
Oxford
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/people/patricia.esteve-gonzalez/

Anwesha Mukherjee

Technische Universität München ( email )

Arcisstrasse 21
Munich, DE 80333
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/anweshamukherjeeprofile/home

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