Affirmative action and effort choice: An experimental investigation

Silva-Goncalves, Juliana, Dulleck, Uwe, Lee Hong, Anita, Schaffner, Markus, & Whyte, Stephen (2016) Affirmative action and effort choice: An experimental investigation. United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), Helsinki. [Working Paper]

View at publisher (open access)


We study the effect of affirmative action on effort in an experiment conducted in high schools in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas in Queensland, Australia. All participating schools have a large representation of indigenous Australians, a population group that is frequently targeted by affirmative action. Our participants perform a simple real-effort task in a competitive setting. Those ranked in the top third receive a high piece-rate payment and all the others receive a low payment. We introduce affirmative action by providing the lowest (bottom third) performers with a positive handicap increasing their chances to achieve the high payment target. Our findings show that the policy increases effort of those that it aims to favour, without discouraging effort of those who are indirectly penalized by affirmative action.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

31 since deposited on 05 May 2016
31 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 95394
Item Type: Working Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: Affirmative action, classroom experiment, real-effort task, public policy
ISBN: 9789292560973
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Chancellery
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Economics & Finance
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 UNU-WIDER
Deposited On: 05 May 2016 22:39
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2016 02:00

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page