The Politics of Race in Higher Education: Governing Boards and Constituents

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In a recent study, Borjas (1982) employs the Downs (1957) - Becker (1958) vote maximizing model to derive and test hypotheses concerning the economic status of blacks in federal agencies. Along Beckerian (1957) lines, it is assumed that an agency's constituents have a taste for discrimination, so that whites' political support decreases and blacks' political support increases the greater the proportion of blacks employed in the agency's labor force. The extent of racial wage and employment discrimination is then hypothesized to depend upon the racial composition and political organization of the agency's constituency and the organizational structure of the agency. Borjas offers convincing evidence in support of this discriminating vote-maximizing hypothesis.

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