Both the United States and Canada have federal legislation that attempts to address employment inequities across specific target groups. The US has a long tradition of affirmative action, dating back to President Kennedy's 1961 Executive Order; Canada enacted its Employment Equity Act in 1986. Employment Equity/Affirmative Action policy has attracted significant controversy, with high profile court cases and the repeal of state/provincial legislation. Coate and Loury (1993) examine the theoretical impact of introducing affirmative action. Unfortunately the theoretical impact of affirmative action is ambiguous. The current paper employs a laboratory experiment to shed empirical light on this theoretical ambiguity.