The Efficacy of the Rooney Rule

There is a dearth of affirmative action policies designed to impact executive level hiring. The National Football League’s (NFL) “Rooney Rule” is the exception. The Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate for any head coaching vacancy. Using an econometric approach, I present evidence that the Rooney Rule had a significant, positive impact on the likelihood that a minority candidate would fill an NFL head coaching vacancy. The Rooney Rule could serve as a case study for other types of firms wishing to enact “soft” affirmative action policies to impact executive hiring.

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