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Does The River Spill Over? Estimating The Economic Returns To Attending A Racially Diverse College

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Author Info

  • PETER ARCIDIACONO
  • JACOB L. VIGDOR

Abstract

"This article evaluates the frequently argued but heretofore little tested hypothesis that increasing minority representation in elite colleges generates tangible benefits for majority-race students. Using data on graduates of 30 selective universities, we find only weak evidence of any relationship between collegiate racial composition and the postgraduation outcomes of white or Asian students. Moreover, the strongest evidence we uncover suggests that increasing minority representation by lowering admission standards is unlikely to produce benefits and may in fact cause harm by reducing the representation of minority students on less selective campuses. While affirmative action may still be desirable for the benefits it conveys to minority students, these results provide little support for "spillover" effects on majority-race students. "("JEL" I2, J15, J24) Copyright (c) 2009 Western Economic Association International.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 48 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (07)
Pages: 537-557

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:48:y:2010:i:3:p:537-557

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Cited by:
  1. Barbara L. Wolfe & Jason Fletcher, 2013. "Estimating Benefits from University-Level Diversity," NBER Working Papers 18812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Arcidiacono, Peter & Aucejo, Esteban M. & Fang, Hanming & Spenner, Kenneth I., 2009. "Does Affirmative Action Lead to Mismatch? A New Test and Evidence," Working paper 630, Regulation2point0.
  3. Anil Nathan, 2009. "Sorting and Statistical Discrimination in Schools: An Analysis Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health," Working Papers 0905, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  4. Zeynep Hansen & Hideo Owan & Jie Pan, 2006. "The Impact of Group Diversity on Performance and Knowledge Spillover -- An Experiment in a College Classroom," NBER Working Papers 12251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Arcidiacono, Peter & Khan, Shakeeb & Vigdor, Jacob L., 2011. "Representation versus assimilation: How do preferences in college admissions affect social interactions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 1-15.
  6. Harry J. Holzer & David Neumark, 2006. "Affirmative action: What do we know?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 463-490.

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