Céline Teney, Giuseppe Pietrantuono, Katja Möhring
Who supports whom? Citizens’ support for affirmative action policies in recruitment processes towards four underrepresented groups

Journal of European Public Policy, 2023: 30, Heft 12, S. 2832-2853
ISSN: 1350-1763 (print), 1466-4429 (online)

Despite the divisive character of Affirmative Action Policies (AAP)s, we still know very little about why some people oppose, while others support such regulations. We provide new evidence from a survey experiment in Germany, where we asked respondents to what extent they would support the introduction of a hypothetical regulation favouring – if equally qualified – members of an underrepresented group in the recruitment process for a management position. We randomly varied the APP’s target group between women, persons with an immigrant background, native East Germans and persons from a non-academic household. Our study shows that being a member of the AAP-targeted group significantly and substantially increases support for such a regulation. We also find evidence for increased support for AAP if the targeted group is perceived as disadvantaged. By contrast, our results do not back up the idea that prejudice affects AAP support.