Evidence for adverse impact in applied, organizational settings can often depend on application of the “four-fifths rule.” We analyze the arithmetic four-fifths rule, its operationalization, and related statistical tests. We note that the rule has intuitive appeal and has arithmetic directness. On the other hand, the four-fifths rule contains many ambiguities because of the manner in which it is defined, as well as its use in practice. One purpose of this article is to discuss the arithmetic and statistical facets of the definition. A related purpose of this article is to demonstrate where the ambiguities (and possibly unintended consequences) with the four-fifths rule might arise when numerical interpretations are invoked. Implications for future research and academic dialogues are then noted.
Bobko, P. and Roth, P.L. (2004), "THE FOUR-FIFTHS RULE FOR ASSESSING ADVERSE IMPACT: AN ARITHMETIC, INTUITIVE, AND LOGICAL ANALYSIS OF THE RULE AND IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH AND PRACTICE", Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol. 23), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 177-198. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-7301(04)23004-3
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