Almost ALL "Disparity Studies" Fail to Prove Discrimination!
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Report -- May 2006

USCCR REPORT FINDS MOST "DISPARITY STUDIES" ARE SERIOUSLY FLAWED

Disparity studies virtually always fail to show the need for racial preferences in federal contracting!

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[U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Washington DC May 2006]    The United States Commission on Civil Rights held hearings on December 16, 2005 regarding the legitmacy of so-called "disparity studies" which are widely used to allegedly prove the need for government imposed racial preferences in federal contracting policies in order to "remediate [supposedly] historical discrimination against historically disadvantaged racial and ethnic groups". 
See Particularly:

Roger Clegg's Testimony and Analysis of Disparity Studies
08-03-06

The Commission released its report on these hearings in May 2006.

          The Commission's report -- "Disparity Studies as Evidence of Discrimination in Federal Contracting" -- analyzed the testimony from four experts in this field.  The majority of the experts were highly critical of "disparity studies".

Disparity Studies Don't Prove Discrimination They pointed out that a huge proportion of such studies fail the Supreme Court's "strict scrutiny test" regarding the use of last-resort imposition of racial quotas in order to remedy past discrimination against specific racial or ethnic groups.

          Based upon the testimony of the experts regarding "Disparity Studies" on Dec. 16, 2005, the Commission issued 31 specific recommendations regarding such studies.  The first six recommendations (out of thirty one) appear immediately below:

(1) States and localities must discard disparity studies conducted using data that is more than five years old.  The results are too outdated to justify the [racially] preferential awards given today.  [Editor's Note:  The Commission found that most disparity studies, including the U.S. Dept. of Justice, not only use data that is 10 or more years old, but also use "anecdotal" data (stories and allegations) which are not documented and which therefore cannot be proven!]
(2) Officials that operate affirmative action programs must ensure that the methodology of any disparity study [used in] justifying racial or ethnic preferences adheres to generally accepted social science research standards.  Disparity studies must demonstrate [statistical] validity, reliability, and reproducibility of results.   Researchers must thorough document all data.  [Editor's Note:  The Commission found that most disparity studies, including the U.S. Dept. of Justice, miserably fail to adhere to statistically rigorous methodoligies.  Correlations and causality, including rigorous multiple regression techniques, are most often absent from most disparity studies.]
(3) A Researchers must develop an explicit rationale for including businesses in the availability measure as qualified, willing, and able to carry out contract work.   Their work should compare only businessses that are able to perform the same services.  Analysts should remove from the pool of available businesses any companies offering services that a government [actor] does not purchase or that are distinctly different. [Editor's Note:  The Commission found that many, perhaps most, disparity studies, merely look at the equivalent of "the yellow pages of minority owned firms" to provide the baseline of "underutilized firms".  This superficial approach fails to truly catalog firms which are "qualified, willing and able" to perform government contracts.]
(4) Researchers, and the federal, state, or local jurisdictions relying on their work, must use multiple measures of disparities, estimating the available pool of firms through both broad and narrow definitions, to ensure that results are not unique to one particular definition.
(5) Researchers should perform detailed analyses.  They should calculate disparity ratios within meaningful categories, such as specific industries, racial and ethnic groups, or contract amounts, so that government can use the research results to appropriately narrowly tailor [racial and ethnic] preferences.
(6) Analysts should use measures of available firms that account for the businesses' capacity to perform the work.  At a minimum, they should examine disparity ratios by size of business.  For example, instead of contrasting small minority businesses with all othe rfirms, researchers should compare them to other small businesses.  Yet, categorizing businesses as small, medium, and large is only a weak measure of capacity.  The research should attempt to include additional and more fine-tuned measures of capacity, such as revenue, number of employees, or the firm's payroll.
(NOTE:  The Commission made a total of 31 recommendations.  For the complete Commission report, including all 31 recommendations, see below.

          The complete 100 page "Disparity Studies" report by the Commission is available from either of the following two links (in Adobe Acrobat format):

Adversity.Net copy of the Commision Report:

http://adversity.net/USCCR/
pages/DisparityStudies5-2006.pdf

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U.S. Commission on Civil Rights web site:

Last known link to the report is as follows:
http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/
DisparityStudies5-2006.pdf

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Especially See:

Roger Clegg's Testimony and Analysis of Disparity Studies
08-03-06


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