Demid Getik (), Marco Islam () and Margaret Samahita ()
Demid Getik: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Marco Islam: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Margaret Samahita: School of Economics, University College Dublin
Abstract: We study the origins of support for gender-related afﬁrmative action (AA) in two pre-registered online experiments (N = 1, 700). Participants act as employers who decide whether to use AA in hiring job candidates. We implement three treatments to disentangle the preference for AA stemming from i) perceived gender differences in productivity, ii) beliefs about AA effects on productivity, or iii) other non-material motives. To test i), we provide information to employers that there is no gender gap in productivity. To test ii), we inform the candidates about the hiring rule ex-ante, allowing us to observe how AA is expected to affect productivity. To test iii), we remove the payment to the employers based on the chosen candidates’ productiv- ity, thus making AA cheaper. We do not ﬁnd signiﬁcant differences in AA support across treatments, despite successfully altering beliefs about expected productivity differences. Our results suggest that AA choice reﬂects a more intrinsic and inelastic preference for advancing female candidates.
48 pages, May 12, 2021
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