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Student incentives and preferential treatment in college admissions

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  • Pastine, Ivan
  • Pastine, Tuvana

Abstract

We consider a framework in which the optimal admissions policy of a purely academic-quality oriented college implements preferential treatment in favor of the student from the deprived socioeconomic background which maximizes the competition between candidates. We find that the exact form of the preferential treatment admissions policy matters for student incentives and hence for student-body diversity in equilibrium. Preferential treatment policy in college admissions often takes, or is perceived to take, an additive form where the score of the applicant from the deprived background is augmented by a fixed number of points. Such a preferential treatment policy fails to incentivize students from the deprived background. Despite the affirmative action, the level of preferential treatment that achieves academic excellence leaves student-body diversity unchanged compared with a background-blind admissions policy and leads to a higher intergroup score gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Pastine, Ivan & Pastine, Tuvana, 2012. "Student incentives and preferential treatment in college admissions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 123-130.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:1:p:123-130
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2011.09.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Bettina Klose & Dan Kovenock, 2015. "The all-pay auction with complete information and identity-dependent externalities," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 59(1), pages 1-19, May.
    2. F. Aleskerov & I. Frumin & E. Kardanova, 2016. "Heterogeneity of the educational system: an introduction to the problem," Papers 1701.07322, arXiv.org.
    3. Matthias Dahm, 2017. "All-Pay Auctions with Extra Prize: A Partial Exclusion Principle," Discussion Papers 2017-01, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    4. Dahm, Matthias & Esteve, Patrícia,, 2013. "Affirmative Action through Extra Prizes," Working Papers 2072/222197, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Affirmative action; College admissions; All-pay auction; Contest; Tournament;

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

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