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Valuing identity

Author: Roland G Fryer; Glenn C Loury; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2010.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 16568.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Affirmative action policies are practiced around the world. This paper explores the welfare economics of such policies. A model is proposed where heterogeneous agents, distinguished by skill level and social identity, compete for positions in a hierarchy. The problem of designing an efficient policy to raise the status in this competition of a disadvantaged identity group is considered. We show that: (i) when agent  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Fryer, Roland G.
Valuing identity.
Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2010
(DLC) 2011655806
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Roland G Fryer; Glenn C Loury; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 690097036
Description: 1 online resource (28, [1] pages) : illustrations.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 16568.
Responsibility: Roland G. Fryer, Jr., Glenn Loury.

Abstract:

Affirmative action policies are practiced around the world. This paper explores the welfare economics of such policies. A model is proposed where heterogeneous agents, distinguished by skill level and social identity, compete for positions in a hierarchy. The problem of designing an efficient policy to raise the status in this competition of a disadvantaged identity group is considered. We show that: (i) when agent identity is fully visible and contractible (sightedness), efficient policy grants preferred access to positions, but offers no direct assistance for acquiring skills; and, (ii) when identity is not contractible (blindness), efficient policy provides universal subsidies when the fraction of the disadvantaged group at the development margin is larger then their mean (across positions) share at the assignment margin.

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