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Gender inequality remains a widespread problem in labor markets. In this video, MARCELA IBÁÑEZ-DÍAZ asks whether affirmative action is an effective policy for reducing disparities between men and women in terms of pay and access to employment. The research team set up an experiment which revealed gender disparities in application rates for a job, based on the foregrounding of affirmative action. Ibáñez-Díaz concludes not only that affirmative action helps to improve women’s position in the labor market but also that it achieves this without efficiency cost. Providing clear recommendations for policymakers, Ibáñez-Díaz calls for further work that will test the applicability of the study’s findings in different research contexts.


Marcela Ibáñez-Díaz is an Associate Professor of Development Economics at the University of Göttingen where she leads the Behavioral Development Economics group in the Centre for the Study of Poverty, Equity and Growth. She has previously held positions at the University of the Andes (Columbia), the University of Innsbruck and the University of Gothenburg. Ibáñez-Díaz’s research interests include Behavioral Development Economics, Labor Economics, and Policy Evaluation. Recipient of a 2014 Science Award from the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, she is an external advisor to the Latin American and Caribbean Environmental Economics Program (LACEEP).


University of Göttingen (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)

Founded in 1737, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen is a research university of international renown with strong focuses in research-led teaching. The University is distinguished by the rich diversity of its subject spectrum particularly in the humanities, its excellent facilities for the pursuit of scientific research, and the outstanding quality of the areas that define its profile. From 2007 to 2012 Georg-August-Universität Göttingen was rewarded funding from the Initiative of Excellence of the German Federal and State Governments with its institutional strategy for the future entitled “Göttingen.Tradition – Innovation – Autonomy”. The University was able to realise all measures of the concept. Now Göttingen University develops the successfully established measures further to continously advance the University’s positive developments in research and teaching. ( Source )
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Original publication

Sorting Through Affirmative Action: Three Field Experiments in Colombia

Ibañez Marcela and Riener Gerhard
Journal of Labor Economics
Published in 2018

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