Judge anti-discrimination law by results, not good intentions, by Helen Andrews.
Thousands of complaints are filed every year under the various anti-discrimination provisions in Australian law, from the Racial Discrimination Act to the Fair Work Act.
But do these laws ultimately help the groups they are intended to?
Not always. The wage gap between men and women, for example, narrowed dramatically prior to the passage of the Sex Discrimination Act 1983 and plateaued after it. The law ratified larger cultural changes that were already well in motion. It was not itself an engine of change.
Sometimes these laws can even hurt the groups they are supposed to help. Workforce participation among the disabled went down after the passage of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 …. The laws themselves are partly to blame, since they incentivize employers to act defensively.