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Negative side effects of affirmative action: How quotas lead to distortions in performance evaluation

Lea M. Petters and Marina Schröder

European Economic Review, 2020, vol. 130, issue C

Abstract: We study the impact of affirmative action on peer-review behavior. We conduct a real-effort tournament experiment, in which prizes are awarded according to peer-review evaluation. Between treatments, we vary whether or not a quota is implemented and whether or not affirmed individuals face ex-ante procedural disadvantages. We find that quotas lead to distorted peer-reviews, where affirmed individuals receive significantly less favorable reviews than non-affirmed peers with similar performance. Distortions in peer-reviews are robust to changes in ex-ante procedural fairness and seem to be driven by enhanced competition among affirmed individuals.

Keywords: Affirmative action; Quota; Peer-review; Creative work; Real effort; Procedural fairness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 J33 J71 M51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2020.103500

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European Economic Review is currently edited by T.S. Eicher, A. Imrohoroglu, E. Leeper, J. Oechssler and M. Pesendorfer

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