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Heterogeneity, leveling the playing field, and affirmative action in contests

Chowdhury, S. M. ORCID:, Esteve-González, P. and Mukherjee, A. ORCID: (2023) Heterogeneity, leveling the playing field, and affirmative action in contests. Southern Economic Journal, 89 (3). pp. 924-974. ISSN 2325-8012

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/soej.12618


The heterogeneous abilities of players in various competitive contexts often lead to undesirable outcomes such as low effort provision, a lack of diversity, and inequality. A range of policies is implemented to mitigate such issues by enforcing competitive balance, that is, by levelling the playing field. Some of those policies, known as affirmative action (AA) policies, are practiced in ethical response to historical discrimination against particular social groups, and are also aimed at increasing competition. This survey summarizes the rapidly growing literature on contest theory regarding AA and other policies that level the playing field. Using a general theoretical structure, we outline the theoretical, experimental, and empirical research findings on contest outcomes under a multitude of policy mechanisms, and in doing so, we touch upon some of the common debates in the AA literature.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Economics
ID Code:111447


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