ASFEE 6 in Paris

Authors > Beaurain Guillaume

Do Affirmative Action Policies Help Reducing Gender Discrimination and Enhance Efficiency ? A new experimental evidence.
Guillaume Beaurain  1, *@  , David Masclet  2, 3, *@  
1 : Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management  (CREM)  -  Website
CNRS : UMR6211, Universite de Rennes 1, Université de Caen Basse-Normandie
2 : Université de Renne 1, CREM UMR 6211
3 : Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations  (CIRANO)  -  Website
2020, rue University, 25e étage Montréal, Québec, H3A 2A5 -  Canada
* : Corresponding author

Our paper investigates experimentally the impact of quota policies on gender discrimination in hiring decisions. Precisely we test whether such policies help increasing women employment rate. We also measure the perverse effect of affirmative actions in term of reverse discrimination against men and losses of economic efficiency. Our experiment consists of three treatments. In the baseline treatment, employers make their hiring decisions based on information regarding the candidates' characteristics including gender, years of study and fields of study. The two remaining treatment are similar to the baseline except that a quota system is introduced such that at least half of employees must be women. In case of non-respect of the law that guarantee that at least half of the employees hired to be females, the firm has to pay a penalty. We vary the level of the penalty by running two variant of this treatment: a low and a high penalty level. Our findings indicate that affirmative action programs succeed in increasing the women employment rate. Discrimination against women is completely removed when quota are implemented. We also observe the existence of reverse discrimination. However we find no evidence of a negative impact of affirmative action programs on firms' efficiency.

Online user: 1