Thomas E. Weisskopf (Ph.D. Economics, M.I.T., 1966) has taught at the Indian Statistical Institute, at Harvard University, and since 1972 at the University of Michigan (UM), where he is now Professor Emeritus of Economics. From 1996 to 2001 and from 2002 to 2005 he served as Director of the UM’s Residential College. He has authored or co-authored 10 books and has published more than 100 articles in a wide range of journals in the fields of economic development, macroeconomics, comparative economic systems, political economy, and public policy. In recent years his research has focused on affirmative action in the comparative context of the United States and India, and on the growth of economic inequality in each of these two countries.
Does affirmative action reduce productivity? The case of Indian Railways
21 Jan 2015
Critics of job reservations argue that such policies have an adverse effect on work efficiency and productivity. This column analyses the effect of job reservations in the Indian Railways – the world’s largest employer subject to affirmative action. It finds that having a larger proportion of lower-caste employees is not associated with lower productivity; in top-tier jobs, in some cases, it is actually associated with higher productivity.
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