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Research Paper: A Probabilistic Evaluation of the Argument of Correction in Affirmative Action

Ishan Kashyap Hazarika, Mahima Yadav & Sourabh Rai, B.A. (Hon.) Economics, 2021


Objective: The issue of affirmative action is a major point of discussion in distributive justice and allocation of scarce resources such as job-offerings or college seats. Philosophical arguments around this focus on diversity, historical justice and correction. The objective of this study is to examine the argument of correction in relation to affirmative action, which states that affirmative action helps correct biases in metrics used to measure merit. Method: We develop of a stochastic formulation of the argument of correction and analyse it using a probability-theory approach. Result: We find with the help of two counterexamples that the argument of correction is not generally valid, when we admit the stochastic nature of the problem. Conclusion: Though the argument of correction may be valid in some special cases, its general lack of validity presents a major challenge to this dominant argument widely used in the literature.

Keywords: Affirmative action; Distributive Justice; Allocation of Resources

JEL Codes: D61, D63, K38


A Probabilistic Evaluation of the Argument of Correction in Affirmative Action
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Hazarika IK, Rai S, Yadav M. (2020). A probabilistic evaluation of the argument of correction in affirmative action. Indian Journal of Economics and Development. Vol. 8, Article ID: IJED-2020-26, Pages: 1- 8. Doi:

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