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Anti-Discrimination Versus Anti-Poverty: Does Affirmative Action Hurt the Poor?

  • Economics


Scholars have implied that affirmative action is associated with deteriorating conditions for the poor. However, few have attempted to demonstrate any association between affirmative action and poverty empirically. The author relied upon data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) 1975-1999 and a generalized least squares model to test the relationship between the percent of Blacks who qualify as poor in a given year and several measures of affirmative action. The author finds a mixed but largely null relationship between Black poverty and affirmative action and concludes that affirmative action programs have little impact on Black poverty levels.

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