We analyze the long-term workforce composition when the quality of mentoring available to majority and minority juniors depends on their representation in the workforce. A workforce with at least 50 percent majority workers invariably converges to one where the majority is overrepresented relative to the population. To maximize welfare, persistent interventions, such as group-specific fellowships, are often needed, and the optimal workforce may include minority workers of lower innate talent than the marginal majority worker. We discuss the role of mentorship determinants, talent dispersion, the scope of short-term interventions, various policy instruments and contrast our results to the classic fairness narrative.
Müller-Itten, Michèle, and Aniko Öry.
"Mentoring and the Dynamics of Affirmative Action."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Education and Research Institutions: General
Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity