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Maintaining Efficiency While Integrating Entrants From Lower-Performing Environments: An Experimental Study

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journal contribution
posted on 01.08.2009, 00:00 authored by Timothy C. Salmon, Roberto A. Weber
Efficient growth often requires the integration of individuals from lower-performing groups, firms, or societies into higher-performing ones. Such integration may be difficult without facilitating interventions or restrictions. We explore, using a laboratory experiment, the effectiveness of two regularly-employed entry restrictions: entry quotas and entry exams. We use a coordination game with Pareto-ranked equilibria, in which we allow an efficiently-coordinated group and an inefficiently-coordinated one to arise endogenously. We then allow individuals to move from the low-performing group to the better one. We vary whether such movement is unrestricted, is limited to one entrant per period, or is subject to passing an entry exam. We find both kinds of restrictions improve the efficient integration of entrants, but that there is no additional benefit obtained by their combination. The restrictions lead both to improved behavior among entrants and to the maintenance of good behavior among incumbents in the high-performing group.


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