He takes you on a journey around the world showing you similar patterns of failure in terms of affirmative action. Not only are the rationales for such policies extremely similar around the world, the social turmoil and other adverse consequences are similar as well. Reading this book also gives one even greater appreciation for the U. Constitution as equal rights under the law is not written in the Nigerian constitution, for example.
Read this book. It's succinct and its argument is sound. This is basically the culmination of a 30 year long study of Dr. Sowell's that covers affirmative action not only in the US, but also in various countries around the world, particularly India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Nigeria. He analyzes very thoroughly the trends that occur with affirmative action, and backs up everything with hard data and a multitude of references. As with everything Dr.
- Merely Mary Ann.
- Not Just Another Survival Guide.
- Native 3 (French Edition);
Sowell writes it is logically organized, well-thought-out, and very thorough. In short, he pulls affirmative action out of a world of claims and politics and places it into the realm of hard data, where it scrutinized and compared so that the real world effects can be seen both in general and in specific circumstances. I highly recommend it. The best study of the subject of preferences being written into law that I have seen.
Affirmative Action Around the World: an Empirical Study. - Free Online Library
The utter absurdity of telling people that they are not employing enough persons of the "correct" groups is shown. It is also shown that this is not just an American folly - it is a common, although perverse, practice around the world. My only criticism is that, as an economist, Thomas Sowell does not really track this practice back to its Roman Law roots - i. This legal reasoning undermines the very basis of private property and freedom of association which must, logically, include the right not to associate.
Does not tiptoe around sensitive topics or uncomfortable facts. An eye-opener in terms of the recurring negative consequences of affirmative action policies in very different countries and cultures. TS attacks with reason once again. Definitely his area of expertise.
Thomas Sowell is an economist who has that rare gift of being able to simplify complex issues. His insights give us understanding and clarity of thought. To set a reading intention, click through to any list item, and look for the panel on the left hand side:. Affirmative action around the world: an empirical study esp Chapter 2 chapter 1 also useful for a theoretical framework. Library availability.
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Have you read this? Please log in to set a read status Setting a reading intention helps you organise your reading. They are discriminatory policies masquerading as anti-discrimination policies. Despite this, Sowell outlines how affirmative action policies were given a pass in , when the Supreme Court deemed them to be within the 'spirit' of what was 'purpose' of the Civil Rights Act , despite the fact that reverse-discrimination and quotas were explicitly condemned by those who passed the Act in It was promised that the passing of the Act would not lead to preferential policies.
The Supreme Court Justices in the majority ignored this and further betrayed their post by disregarding the written law e. This book offers an insight into where affirmative action policies come from and how they develop. It also explores the many consequences of affirmative action, and how they are all but impossible to view positively, even for those who may have advocated such policies namely because they tend to backfire. Whether you support or oppose affirmative action, this is a worthy read. Snowell elaborated the negative effects of AA around the world based on his empirical analysis but not on ideals.
Since I studied and worked in Singapore and knew many Chinese friends from Malaysia, I found the exposition of the presidential quota for bumiputera, son of the soil, quite resonating. Although the Whether you support or oppose affirmative action, this is a worthy read. Although the author is very convincing and speaking an authoritative tone, it is dangerous to just listen to one side of argument.
Nevertheless, you will find this book informative and insightful on what you think of AA. Feb 06, Luka Nikolic rated it really liked it. Sri lanka? Oct 05, Mark Geise rated it it was amazing. Sowell looks at several societies that have enacted preferential policies and tracks the history of intergroup relations in those societies and the history and effects of preferential policies in those societies. Sri Lanka is an especially illuminating example because relations were peaceful between the majority and minority racial groups before preferential policies were enacted.
Preferential policies in Sri Lanka sparked a domino effect that eventually resulted in civil war. Sri Lanka is an extreme case, but preferential policies in all cases have tended to result in increased tension and hostility between and among groups. It is not surprising that they do not look at the actual results because those results have been negligent at best and overwhelmingly negative in many cases.
Affirmative action around the world : an empirical study
Sowell details how preferential policies tend to increase polarization between and among groups as group differences are politicized. Even as differences narrow, activists and political leaders that have rode to power the politicization of group differences have every incentive to increase demands and widen the range of groups to demonize. He details the sorting effect under affirmative action policies: the most qualified blacks end up at Ivy League schools because they are in such high demand to be able to report particular diversity numbers.
Schools in the next tier then have a similar demand for blacks, which causes blacks to attend colleges for which they would not otherwise be qualified.
Blacks that would be more than qualified for second- and third-tier schools end up at schools where they are overmatched and, unsurprisingly, they graduate at much lower rates than members of other racial groups when admitted under affirmative action policies. Blacks admitted without the aid of affirmative action policies graduate at similar rates to whites, so those lower graduation rates are clearly a result of the affirmative action policies.
Blacks who otherwise may have attended second- or third-tier schools with great success instead waste years of their lives at top institutions, either failing to graduate or migrating to less demanding subjects. Sowell also makes the important point that affirmative action policies hurt qualified blacks as well, who must operate under a cloud of uncertainty that their qualifications may be partially due to affirmative action.
Also, the unfounded belief that much of the economic advance of blacks in the United States is due to affirmative action infantilizes blacks. Following the commencement of preferential policies, the best-off blacks have been helped while the poorest blacks have actually regressed economically.
He weaves statistics, facts, and inferences together like no other writer than I have ever encountered. This book is an important retort against those that believe that affirmative action and other preferential policies are benign and that we can control the effects of those policies. His case studies demonstrate that preferential policies can have wide-ranging effects that quickly escalate out of the control of anyone. I agree with the basic premise that racial preference quotas invariably cause social problems. However, what could have been an effective analysis is led astray by political hyperbole.
His problem is that he spends most of the book reaching for the Problematic. His problem is that he spends most of the book reaching for the low-hanging fruit of third-world societies in which racial preference has led to great loss of life India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Nigeria , then skips straight to the United States. To begin with, this is not an apples to apples comparison, as the countries in question have almost nothing demographically or culturally in common with the United States. All are in parts of the world with a large native population that was screwed up by 19th century European colonialism, and none has existed as an independent country for more than years.
This would seem to be an argument against racial quotas in 19th century British imperial policy more than a valid argument that affirmative action itself is the problem. This also sets up a couple of other problems: one is the repugnant implication that black people being admitted to the University of Michigan without having the grades for it is a problem on the scale of wholesale genocide. The other is the possibly even more repugnant implication that the United States is a third-world country worthy of comparison to the likes of Nigeria.
The really unfortunate thing is that Sowell could easily have covered the problems that affirmative action has also caused in first-world societies, which would have given his argument here a lot more credibility by inviting a valid comparison to the United States. Ignoring Europe in particular really hurts him; white Europeans from France to Scandinavia have a very strong strand of racism that has led to real social problems much closer to those we experience in the US, and many of their affirmative action policies are just as problematic as ours are.