Affirmative action and interracial friendships
AbstractIn two recent cases involving the University of Michigan, the Supreme Court examined whether race should be allowed to play an explicit role in the admission decisionsof schools. The primary argument in these court cases and others has been that racialdiversity strengthens the quality of education ofered to all students. Underlying thisargument is the notion that educational benefits arise if interactions between studentsof different races improve preparation for life after college by, among other things, fostering mutual understanding and correcting misperceptions. A comprehensive study ofthis issue would ideally examine two conditions: first, whether students actually haveincorrect perceptions about their friendship compatibility with students of other racesat the time of college entrance; second, if misperceptions exist, whether diversity oncampus is effective in changing students' beliefs about individuals of different races.In this paper we provide, to the best of our knowledge, the first direct evidence aboutboth conditions by taking advantage of unique new data that was collected specificallyfor this purpose.
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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2010
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This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-06-11 (All new papers)
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