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The effects of attending a diverse college

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  • Hinrichs, Peter
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    Abstract

    The question of whether there are benefits to be obtained from having a diverse student body is a key issue in the debate over affirmative action. This paper estimates the effects of college racial diversity on post-college earnings, civic behavior, and satisfaction with the college attended. I use the Beginning Postsecondary Students survey, which allows me to control for exposure to racial diversity prior to college. Moreover, I use two techniques from Altonji, Elder, and Taber (2005) to address the issue of selection on unobservables. The first is a sensitivity analysis showing how the coefficient on diversity changes when different values of the correlation are imposed in a system of equations that consists of a selection equation and an outcome equation. The second is estimation based upon an assumption that selection on unobservables equals selection on observables, which, along with the OLS results, gives estimates of bounds on the effect. Single-equation estimates suggest a possible positive effect of diversity on satisfaction with the racial climate at the college attended and a negative effect on community service, but I do not find an effect on other outcomes. Moreover, the estimates are very sensitive to the assumptions made about selection on unobservables.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VB9-51H707Y-1/2/1e1907c2f481b8a66fcd69d78024240b
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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 332-341

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:2:p:332-341

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Affirmative action Diversity Peer effects Selection on unobservables;

    References

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    1. Angrist, Joshua & Lang, Kevin, 2004. "Does School Integration Generate Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," IZA Discussion Papers 976, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Educational Production," NBER Working Papers 7349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Chatterji, Pinka & Dave, Daval & Kaestner, Robert & Markowitz, Sara, 2004. "Alcohol abuse and suicide attempts among youth," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 159-180, June.
    4. Harry Holzer & David Neumark, 1999. "Assessing Affirmative Action," NBER Working Papers 7323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Carolyn J. Heinrich & Peter R. Mueser & Kenneth R. Troske, 2009. "The Role of Temporary Help Employment in Low-Wage Worker Advancement," NBER Chapters, in: Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, pages 399-436 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Daniel L. Millimet & Rusty Tchernis & Muna Husain, 2010. "School Nutrition Programs and the Incidence of Childhood Obesity," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
    7. Cortes, Kalena E., 2010. "Do bans on affirmative action hurt minority students? Evidence from the Texas Top 10% Plan," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1110-1124, December.
    8. Michael Grossman & Robert Kaestner & Sara Markowitz, 2002. "Get High and Get Stupid: The Effect of Alcohol and Marijuana Use on Teen Sexual Behavior," NBER Working Papers 9216, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Johanne Boisjoly & Greg J. Duncan & Michael Kremer & Dan M. Levy & Jacque Eccles, 2006. "Empathy or Antipathy? The Impact of Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1890-1905, December.
    10. Berkowitz, Daniel & Hoekstra, Mark, 2011. "Does high school quality matter? Evidence from admissions data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 280-288, April.
    11. Brian Krauth, 2004. "Peer and selection effects on youth smoking in California," HEW 0408002, EconWPA.
    12. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2008. "Using Selection on Observed Variables to Assess Bias from Unobservables When Evaluating Swan-Ganz Catheterization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 345-50, May.
    13. Cortes, Kalena E., 2010. "Do Bans on Affirmative Action Hurt Minority Students? Evidence from the Texas Top 10% Plan," IZA Discussion Papers 5021, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    16. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
    17. repec:att:wimass:9127 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. 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.
    19. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
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    22. Long, M.C.Mark C., 2004. "College applications and the effect of affirmative action," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 319-342.
    23. 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.
    24. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
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