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Mentoring and Diversity

Christopher Avery, Susan Athey () and Peter Zemsky

American Economic Review, 2000, vol. 90, issue 4, 765-786

Abstract: We study how diversity evolves at a firm with entry-level and upper-level employees who vary in ability and "type" (gender or ethnicity). The ability of entry-level employees is increased by mentoring. An employ receives more mentoring when more upper-level employees have the same type. Optimal promotions are biased by type, and this bias may favor either the minority or the majority. We characterize possible steady states, including a "glass ceiling," where the upper level remains less diverse than the entry level. A firm may have multiple steady states, whereby temporary affirmative-action policies have a long-run impact.

JEL-codes: J15 J16 J41 J71 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2000
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.90.4.765
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Related works:
Working Paper: Mentoring and Diversity (1998)
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