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Testing for Bias in Graduate School Admissions

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  • Gregory Attiyeh
  • Richard Attiyeh

Abstract

This paper provides an empirical examination of the factors that influence graduate admissions decisions. It exploits a unique, large data set on applications and admissions to 48 leading graduate schools in five disciplines, including economics. The analysis shows that these graduate schools in the aggregate gave substantial preference in four out of five fields to U.S. citizens over foreign applicants, modest preference in three fields to women over men, and substantial preference in all fields to underrepresented minorities over other U.S. citizens. The findings suggest that higher standards are applied to overrepresented groups to achieve more diverse enrollments.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory Attiyeh & Richard Attiyeh, 1997. "Testing for Bias in Graduate School Admissions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 524-548.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:32:y:1997:i:3:p:524-548
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    Cited by:

    1. Samantha Heslop & Simone Varotto, 2007. "Admissions of International Graduate Students: Art or Science? A Business School Experience," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2007-08, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    2. Harry J. Holzer & David Neumark, 2000. "What Does Affirmative Action Do?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(2), pages 240-271, January.
    3. John Brooks Slaughter & Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Eric A. Hanushek, 2004. "Panel Discussion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 302-306, May.
    4. Ehrenberg, R.G.Ronald G., 2004. "Econometric studies of higher education," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 19-37.
    5. Paula E. Stephan, 2010. "The "I"s Have It: Immigration and Innovation, the Perspective from Academe," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(1), pages 83-127.
    6. Hale, Galina & Regev, Tali, 2014. "Gender ratios at top PhD programs in economics," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 55-70.
    7. Michael Baker & Gary Solon, 2003. "Earnings Dynamics and Inequality among Canadian Men, 1976-1992: Evidence from Longitudinal Income Tax Records," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 267-288, April.
    8. Beaurain, Guillaume & Masclet, David, 2016. "Does affirmative action reduce gender discrimination and enhance efficiency? New experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 350-362.
    9. Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 2002. "Studying Ourselves: The Academic Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 8965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Yang, Guangliang, 2014. "Are all admission sub-tests created equal? — Evidence from a National Key University in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 600-617.
    11. MacLachlan, Anne J., 2017. "PRESERVATION OF EDUCATIONAL INEQUALITY IN DOCTORAL EDUCATION: Tacit Knowledge, Implicit Bias and University Faculty by Anne J. MacLachlan, UC Berkeley CSHE 1.17 (January 2017)," University of California at Berkeley, Center for Studies in Higher Education qt5zv6c3nj, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley.
    12. Michael J. Hilmer & Christiana E. Hilmer, 2009. "Fishes, Ponds, And Productivity: Student-Advisor Matching And Early Career Publishing Success For Economics Phds," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(2), pages 290-303, April.
    13. Luís Francisco Aguiar-Conraria, 2002. "Predicting the Performance of a First Year Graduate Student," NIPE Working Papers 4/2002, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    14. Wendy A. Stock, 2011. "The Characteristics of Economics Graduate Students," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 70 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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