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Affirmative action and retaliation in experimental contests

Francesco Fallucchi () and Simone Quercia

No 16-03, Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) from School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.

Abstract: We conduct a real-effort experiment to test the effects of an affirmative action policy that reserves a share of the prize to subjects of a disadvantaged category in rent-seeking contests. We test three potential critiques to affirmative action policies in our setting: (i) whether the introduction of the policy reduces overall effort or distorts selection in the contest, (ii) whether it leads to reverse discrimination and (iii) whether the possibility of ex-post retaliatory actions undermines the effectiveness of the policy. We find that the affirmative action contest increases entry of players from the disadvantaged category without affecting entry of advantaged players. Moreover, the introduction of the policy does not negatively affect performance. However, we find that the possibility of retaliation can undermine the benefits of the affirmative action policy reducing contest participation. This suggests that retaliation is an important aspect to consider when implementing affirmative action policies.

Keywords: rent-seeking; contest design; affirmative action; retaliation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 D72 J78 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-03-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp
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Journal Article: Affirmative action and retaliation in experimental contests (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Affirmative Action and Retaliation in Experimental Contests (2018) Downloads
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