Why preferences in college admissions may yield a more-able student body
Critics of affirmative action policies contend that the elimination of racial preferences in college admissions would lead to a "more-able" student body. We develop a simple model comprised of three classes of college admissions--merit, race and legacy--to show that it is possible that a change in admissions policy that reduces racial preferences leads to a "less-able" student body. The change in admissions policy may serve only to ensure that more admissions are available for "sale" to wealthy alumni through legacy preferences. In other words, when there are multi-dimensional preferences, reducing or eliminating one dimension of preferences may lead to the unforeseen consequence of producing a "less able" student body.
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- Qiang Fu, 2006. "A Theory of Affirmative Action in College Admissions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(3), pages 420-428, July.
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"Would the Elimination of Affirmative Action Affect Highly Qualified Minority Applicants? Evidence from California and Texas,"
Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(3), pages 416-434, April.
- David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 2004. "Would the Elimination of Affirmative Action Affect Highly Qualified Minority Applicants? Evidence from California and Texas," NBER Working Papers 10366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- R. G. Lipsey & Kelvin Lancaster, 1956. "The General Theory of Second Best," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 11-32.
- Niu, Sunny Xinchun & Tienda, Marta & Cortes, Kalena, 2006. "College selectivity and the Texas top 10% law," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 259-272, June.
- Thomas J. Espenshade & Chang Y. Chung, 2005. "The Opportunity Cost of Admission Preferences at Elite Universities," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 86(2), pages 293-305.
- Mark C. Long, 2004. "Race and College Admissions: An Alternative to Affirmative Action?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 1020-1033, November.
- Dickson, Lisa M., 2006. "Does ending affirmative action in college admissions lower the percent of minority students applying to college?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 109-119, February.
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