Employment Discrimination

Cornell Law School Working Paper No. 5530

22 Pages Posted: 12 May 1999

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 1999


This article first parses the multiple overlapping definitions of discrimination, including distinctions between group and individual discrimination and between segregation and discrimination in pay. The article then summarizes the major economic models of discrimination, particularly Becker's taste-for-discrimination model and statistical-discrimination models, as well as sorting and status-production models. The discussion focuses on the conditions under which markets will tend to eliminate discrimination, noting that this occurs in a more limited range of situations than commonly recognized. The article next surveys the economic role of anti-discrimination laws, evaluating arguments that the law speeds the journey to a non-discriminatory equilibrium and that the law breaks social norms perpetuating inefficient discrimination. Finally, the article examines empirical studies of employment discrimination laws, including analyses of litigation trends and of the laws' effects on labor markets.

JEL Classification: J15, J16, J70, J71, J78

Suggested Citation

Schwab, Stewart Jon, Employment Discrimination (February 1999). Cornell Law School Working Paper No. 5530, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=150112 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.150112

Stewart Jon Schwab (Contact Author)

Cornell Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607.255.8584 (Phone)
607-255-7193 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics