Despite the passionate national debate over affirmative action, little attention has been paid to the fairness of government contracting--a potentially important factor for minority economic progress. To provide a national picture of how minority-owned firms are doing in the area of government contracting, the Urban Institute carried out a study of the extent to which minority-owned firms receive a representative share of state and local government contract dollars. The study reveals substantial disparities between the share of contract dollars received by minority-owned firms and the share of all firms that they represent. This report surveys the evidence, examines the economic and policy context, suggests a research agenda, and offers conclusions based on the data.
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