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The impact of the Texas top ten percent law on college enrollment: A regression discontinuity approach

  • Sunny Xinchun Niu

    (Research Scholar, Office of Population Research, Princeton University)

  • Marta Tienda

    (Professor, Sociology and Public Affairs, Princeton University)

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    We use regression discontinuity methods on a representative survey of Texas high school seniors to discern the impact on flagship-enrollment behavior of the Texas top 10 percent law, which guarantees admission to any Texas public university to students who graduate in the top decile of their class. By comparing students at and immediately below the cut-point for automatic admission, we find that the top 10 percent law affects flagship enrollment of Hispanic students eligible for the admission guarantee, as well as rank-eligible graduates from high schools where minority students predominate and from high schools with the state average share of economically disadvantaged students. Our findings are robust to various model specifications and different bandwidth choices using local linear estimation. © 2010 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 84-110

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:29:y:2010:i:1:p:84-110
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    1. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
    2. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Thomas J. Kane, 2003. "A Quasi-Experimental Estimate of the Impact of Financial Aid on College-Going," NBER Working Papers 9703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2002. "Remedial Education and Student Achievement: A Regression-Discontinuity Analysis," NBER Working Papers 8918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Mariana Alfonso & Juan Carlos Calcagno, 2007. "Minority Enrollments at Public Universities of Diverse Selectivity Levels under Different Admission Regimes: The Case of Texas," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6729, Inter-American Development Bank.
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