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Do college admissions counselors discriminate? Evidence from a correspondence-based field experiment

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  • Hanson, Andrew

Abstract

I design and implement a correspondence based field experiment to test for race and gender discrimination among college admissions counselors in the student information gathering stage. The experiment uses names to identify student race and gender, and student grade, SAT score, and writing differences to reflect varying levels of applicant quality. I find that counselors do not respond differently by race in most cases, but there are measurable differences in response/non-response and in the type of correspondence sent that favor female students. I also find that the quality of the student induces large differences in the type of response.

Suggested Citation

  • Hanson, Andrew, 2017. "Do college admissions counselors discriminate? Evidence from a correspondence-based field experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 86-96.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:86-96
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2017.08.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    College application; Discrimination; Field experiment; Race; Gender;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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