Yes, poor qualifications can sometimes be an advantage

In a recent paper in the ESR, Merlin Schaeffer1, Jutta Höhne, and Céline Teney highlight that in certain situations (characterized by statistical discrimination) it can be an advantage to have poor qualifications. The argument is that because of statistical discrimination, the educational qualifications of minorities are less important to signal real qualifications. As a result, the poor qualifications of minorities are overlooked, leading to positive statistical discrimination.

Schaeffer, Merlin, Jutta Höhne, and Céline Teney. 2016. ‘Income Advantages of Poorly Qualified Immigrant Minorities: Why School Dropouts of Turkish Origin Earn More in Germany’. European Sociological Review 32 (1): 93–107. doi:10.1093/esr/jcv091.

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