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Representation versus assimilation: How do preferences in college admissions affect social interactions?

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  • Arcidiacono, Peter
  • Khan, Shakeeb
  • Vigdor, Jacob L.

Abstract

Given the existence of non-selective universities, the question of whether to employ racial preferences in college admissions reduces to one of optimal allocation of a finite resource: students who are members of under-represented racial or ethnic groups. In this paper, we assess recent legal arguments that racial preferences at selective colleges promote meaningful on-campus interracial interaction. As such, we model such interaction as a function of minority representation and, in some cases, perceived social similarity between students of different races. We estimate a structural model to capture these effects and use the results to trace out the net effects of racial preferences on population rates of interracial contact. The results suggest that the interaction-maximizing degree of racial preference, while positive, is significantly weaker than that observed in practice.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-15

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:1:p:1-15

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Affirmative action; Social stratification; Diversity;

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References

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  1. Peter Arcidiacono, 2005. "Affirmative Action in Higher Education: How Do Admission and Financial Aid Rules Affect Future Earnings?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1477-1524, 09.
  2. Mayer, Adalbert & Puller, Steven L., 2008. "The old boy (and girl) network: Social network formation on university campuses," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 329-347, February.
  3. Bruce Sacerdote & David Marmaros, 2005. "How Do Friendships Form?," NBER Working Papers 11530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Holger Sieg, 2008. "Diversity and Affirmative Action in Higher Education," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(4), pages 475-501, 08.
  5. Peter Arcidiacono & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2010. "Does The River Spill Over? Estimating The Economic Returns To Attending A Racially Diverse College," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 537-557, 07.
  6. Roland G. Fryer, Jr. & Paul Torelli, 2005. "An Empirical Analysis of 'Acting White'," NBER Working Papers 11334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Peter Arcidiacono & Esteban M. Aucejo & Hanming Fang & Kenneth I. Spenner, 2010. "Does Affirmative Action Lead to Mismatch? A New Test and Evidence," Working Papers 10-26, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  2. Braz Camargo & Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner, 2008. "Evidence About the Potential Role for Affirmative Action in Higher Education," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20084, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  3. repec:mod:depeco:0002 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. 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.
  5. Peter Arcidiacono & Esteban Aucejo & Andrew Hussey & Kenneth Spenner, 2013. "Racial Segregation Patterns in Selective Universities," CEP Discussion Papers dp1219, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Murat, Marina, 2014. "Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind. Education Networks and International Trade," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 53-66.
  7. Peter Arcidiacono & Cory Koedel, 2014. "Race and College Success: Evidence from Missouri," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 20-57, July.
  8. Weinberg, Bruce A., 2013. "Group design with endogenous associations," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 411-421.
  9. Peter Arcidiacono & Esteban Aucejo & V. Joseph Hotz, 2013. "University differences in the graduation of minorities in STEM fields: evidence from California," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51564, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Arcidiacono, Peter & Aucejo, Esteban & Hotz, V. Joseph, 2013. "University Differences in the Graduation of Minorities in STEM Fields: Evidence from California," IZA Discussion Papers 7227, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Marina Murat, 2013. "Education ties and investments abroad. Empirical evidence from the US and UK," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 091, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics.
  12. Cory Koedel & Peter Arcidiacono, 2012. "Race and College Success: Evidence from Missouri," Working Papers 1212, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 15 Jul 2013.
  13. repec:mod:depeco:0014 is not listed on IDEAS

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