The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life - Chapter 20, Affirmative Action in the Workplace Summary & Analysis

Richard Herrnstein
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Chapter 20, Affirmative Action in the Workplace Summary and Analysis

As a general rule, firms will seek to hire the most productive workers they can and employment tests will make it easier to find them, but due to affirmative action and the Supreme Court ruling out achievement tests, employers have been prevented from doing this. The law as it stands is rooted in the view that ability tests are not good ways of picking employees; tests which check particular job skills are thought better. But empirically, this is false.

Job discrimination laws are thought to have had some impact in certain jobs, in certain settings, into the 1960s and 70s, but their impact has not been decisive. Blacks are often overrepresented in white collar and professional jobs, which indicate the pervasiveness of affirmative action in the workplace. The costs of affirmative...

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