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Do bans on affirmative action hurt minority students? Evidence from the Texas Top 10% Plan

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  • Cortes, Kalena E.
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    Abstract

    In light of the recent bans on affirmative action in higher education, this paper provides new evidence on the effects of alternative admissions policies on the persistence and college completion of minority students. I find that the change from affirmative action to the Top 10% Plan in Texas decreased both retention and graduation rates of lower-ranked minority students. Results show that both fall-to-fall freshmen retention and six-year college graduation of second-decile minority students decreased, respectively, by 2.4 and 3.3 percentage points. The effect of the change in admissions policy was slightly larger for minority students in the third and lower deciles: fall-to-fall freshmen retention and six-year college graduation decreased, respectively, by 4.9 and 4.2 percentage points. Moreover, I find no evidence in support of the minority "mismatch" hypothesis. These results suggest that most of the increase in the graduation gap between minorities and non-minorities in Texas, a staggering 90%, was driven by the elimination of affirmative action in the 1990s.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VB9-50CV82X-1/2/cf02337a257d6109a143a8ae57142a98
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 6 (December)
    Pages: 1110-1124

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:6:p:1110-1124

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

    Related research

    Keywords: Affirmative action Top 10% Plan College quality Freshmen retention College graduation;

    References

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    1. Dee, Thomas S., 2004. "Are there civic returns to education?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
    2. Loury, Linda Datcher & Garman, David, 1993. "Affirmative Action in Higher Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 99-103, May.
    3. Black, Dan A. & Smith, J.A.Jeffrey A., 2004. "How robust is the evidence on the effects of college quality? Evidence from matching," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 99-124.
    4. Loury, Linda Datcher & Garman, David, 1995. "College Selectivity and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 289-308, April.
    5. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 2005. "Would the elimination of affirmative action affect highly qualified minority applicants? Evidence from California and Texas," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(3), pages 416-434, April.
    6. Cortes, Kalena E. & Friedson, Andrew I., 2010. "Ranking Up by Moving Out: The Effect of the Texas Top 10% Plan on Property Values," IZA Discussion Papers 5026, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Dominic J. Brewer & Eric R. Eide & Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1999. "Does It Pay to Attend an Elite Private College? Cross-Cohort Evidence on the Effects of College Type on Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 104-123.
    8. Dickson, Lisa M., 2006. "Does ending affirmative action in college admissions lower the percent of minority students applying to college?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 109-119, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Hinrichs, Peter, 2011. "The effects of attending a diverse college," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 332-341, April.
    2. Alon, Sigal & Malamud, Ofer, 2014. "The impact of Israel's class-based affirmative action policy on admission and academic outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 123-139.
    3. Pastine, Ivan & Pastine, Tuvana, 2012. "Student incentives and preferential treatment in college admissions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 123-130.

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