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Affirmative Action In College Admissions: Examining Labor Market Effects Of Four Alternative Policies

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  • Bruce Wydick

Abstract

A rancorous debate continues to rage over the use of affirmative action policies in college admissions. This article uses a simple signaling model to evaluate the labor market impacts of four types of affirmative action admissions policies. RacE‐based preferential policies and policies guaranteeing admission based on high school academic rank may induce discrimination in labor markets when there exists strong heterogeneity in socioeconomic disadvantage within the underrepresented minority group. Under such conditions, it may also be difficult to realize ethnic diversity with disadvantagE‐based preferential policies. The article argues instead for affirmative action policies emphasizing intensive college preparation for targeted groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce Wydick, 2002. "Affirmative Action In College Admissions: Examining Labor Market Effects Of Four Alternative Policies," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(1), pages 12-24, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:20:y:2002:i:1:p:12-24
    DOI: 10.1093/cep/20.1.12
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/cep/20.1.12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Myerson, Roger B, 1983. "Mechanism Design by an Informed Principal," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1767-1797, November.
    2. Leonard A. Carlson & Caroline Swartz, 1988. "The Earnings of Women and Ethnic Minorities, 1959–1979," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(4), pages 530-546, July.
    3. John Bound & Richard B. Freeman, 1992. "What Went Wrong? The Erosion of Relative Earnings and Employment Among Young Black Men in the 1980s," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 201-232.
    4. Trejo, Stephen J, 1997. "Why Do Mexican Americans Earn Low Wages?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1235-1268, December.
    5. Leonard, Jonathan S, 1989. "Women and Affirmative Action," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 61-75, Winter.
    6. Coate, Stephen & Loury, Glenn C, 1993. "Will Affirmative-Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1220-1240, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francis-Tan, Andrew & Tannuri-Pianto, Maria, 2018. "Black Movement: Using discontinuities in admissions to study the effects of college quality and affirmative action," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 97-116.
    2. Zietz, Joachim & Joshi, Prathibha, 2005. "Academic choice behavior of high school students: economic rationale and empirical evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 297-308, June.

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