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The effects of attending a diverse college

  • Hinrichs, Peter

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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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. David Neumark & Harry Holzer, 2000. "Assessing Affirmative Action," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 483-568, September.
  2. 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.
  3. Brian Krauth, 2004. "Simulation-based estimation of peer effects," Econometrics 0408002, EconWPA.
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  6. Brian Krauth, 2005. "Peer effects and selection effects on smoking among Canadian youth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(3), pages 735-757, August.
  7. Daniel Millimet & Rusty Tchernis & Muna Hussain, 2007. "School Nutrition Programs and the Incidence of Childhood Obesity," Caepr Working Papers 2007-014, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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).
  13. 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.
  14. Peter R. Mueser & Kenneth R. Troske & Carolyn J. Heinrich, 2007. "The Role of Temporary Help Employment in Low-wage Worker Advancement," Working Papers 0719, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Educational Production," NBER Working Papers 7349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects With Random Assignment: Results For Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704, May.
  19. Kalena E. Cortes, 2010. "Do Bans on Affirmative Action Hurt Minority Students? Evidence from the Texas Top 10% Plan," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 10-168, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Chatterji, Pinka, 2006. "Does alcohol use during high school affect educational attainment?: Evidence from the National Education Longitudinal Study," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 482-497, October.
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