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Color-Blind Affirmative Action

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  • Roland Fryer
  • Glenn C. Loury
  • Tolga Yuret

Abstract

This paper presents a conceptual framework for understanding the consequences of the widespread adoption of race-neutral alternatives' to conventional racial affirmative action policies in college admissions. A simple model of applicant competition with endogenous effort is utilized to show that, in comparison to color-conscious affirmative action, these color-blind alternatives can significantly lower the efficiency of the student selection process in equilibrium. We examine data on matriculates at several selective colleges and universities to estimate the magnitudes involved. It is shown that the short-run efficiency losses of implementing color-blind affirmative action (in our sample) are four to five times as high as color-conscious affirmative action.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10103.

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Date of creation: Nov 2003
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Publication status: published as Fryer, Roland G., Jr., Glenn C. Loury, and Tolga Yuret. "An Economic Analysis of Color-Blind Affirmative Action." Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 24, 2 (October 2008): 319-55.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10103

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  1. Roland G. Fryer & Glenn C. Loury, 2003. "Categorical Redistribution in Winner-Take-All Markets," NBER Working Papers 10104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. David Neumark & Harry Holzer, 2000. "Assessing Affirmative Action," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 483-568, September.
  4. Jimmy Chan & Erik Eyster, 2003. "Does Banning Affirmative Action Lower College Student Quality?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 858-872, June.
  5. Coate, Stephen & Loury, Glenn C, 1993. "Will Affirmative-Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1220-40, December.
  6. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Holger Sieg, 2003. "The Practice and Proscription of Affirmative Action in Higher Education:An Equilibrium Analysis," NBER Working Papers 9799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Kim, Young Chul, 2009. "Lifetime Network Externality and the Dynamics of Group Inequality," MPRA Paper 18767, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Debopam Bhattacharya & Shin Kanaya & Margaret Stevens, 2012. "Are University Admissions Academically Fair?," Economics Series Working Papers 608, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Tomer Blumkin & Yoram Margalioth & Efraim Sadka, 2007. "Incorporating Affirmative Action into the Welfare State," CESifo Working Paper Series 2003, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Roland G. Fryer Jr. & Glenn C. Loury, 2005. "Affirmative Action and Its Mythology," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 147-162, Summer.
  5. Marianne Bertrand & Rema Hanna & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2008. "Affirmative Action in Education: Evidence From Engineering College Admissions in India," NBER Working Papers 13926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Kim, Young Chul & Loury, Glenn, 2009. "Group Reputation and the Dynamics of Statistical Discrimination," MPRA Paper 18765, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Fryer, Roland, 2009. "Implicit Quotas," Scholarly Articles 2940155, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Chan, Jimmy & Eyster, Erik, 2007. "The Distributional Consequences of Diversity-Enhancing University Admissions Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 6278, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Holger Sieg, 2003. "The Practice and Proscription of Affirmative Action in Higher Education:An Equilibrium Analysis," NBER Working Papers 9799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Tuvana Pastine & Ivan Pastine, 2011. "Preferential Treatment in College Admissions and Student Incentives," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n218-11.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.

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