Does Temporary Affirmative Action Produce Persistent Effects? A Study of Black and Female Employment in Law Enforcement
35 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2008 Last revised: 22 Sep 2011
Date Written: June 1, 2010
This paper exploits variation in timing and outcomes of employment discrimination lawsuits against US law enforcement agencies to estimate the cumulative employment effects of temporary, externally-imposed affirmative action (AA). To estimate persistent effects, we focus on AA termination, but we also establish new results regarding AA initiation. Using administrative data we show that relative to national trends AA increases black employment at all ranks by between 4.5 and 6.2 percentage points. We find no erosion of these employment gains in the fifteen years following AA termination. Nevertheless, we find a significant decrease in black employment growth following AA termination relative to growth in departments whose plans continue. In contrast, we only find marginal employment gains for women at lower ranks.
Keywords: affirmative action, employment discrimination litigation, law enforcement
JEL Classification: J78, J45, K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation