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Race, Income, and College in 25 Years: Evaluating Justice O'Connor's Conjecture


  • Krueger, Alan
  • Rothstein, Jesse M
  • Turner, Sarah


In Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), Justice Sandra Day O’Connor conjectured that in 25 years affirmative action in college admissions will be unnecessary. We project the test score distribution of black and white college applicants 25 years from now, focusing on the role of black-white family income gaps. Economic progress alone is unlikely to narrow the achievement gap enough in 25 years to produce today’s racial diversity levels with race-blind admissions. A return to the rapid black-white test score convergence of the 1980s could plausibly cause black representation to approach current levels at moderately selective schools, but not at the most selective schools.

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  • Krueger, Alan & Rothstein, Jesse M & Turner, Sarah, 2006. "Race, Income, and College in 25 Years: Evaluating Justice O'Connor's Conjecture," University of California at Berkeley, Center for Studies in Higher Education qt9bn6m1hs, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:cshedu:qt9bn6m1hs

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Card, David & Rothstein, Jesse, 2007. "Racial segregation and the black-white test score gap," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2158-2184, December.
    2. Solon, Gary, 1999. "Intergenerational mobility in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1761-1800 Elsevier.
    3. Laura Chadwick & Gary Solon, 2002. "Intergenerational Income Mobility Among Daughters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 335-344, March.
    4. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1992. "School Quality and Black-White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 151-200.
    5. repec:pri:cepsud:109rothstein is not listed on IDEAS
    6. David Card & Jesse Rothstein, 2005. "Racial Segregation and the Black-White Test Score Gap," Working Papers 879, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    7. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1993. "Trends in Relative Black-White Earnings Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 85-91, May.
    8. Jesse M. Rothstein, 2006. "Good Principals or Good Peers? Parental Valuation of School Characteristics, Tiebout Equilibrium, and the Incentive Effects of Competition among Jurisdictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1333-1350, September.
    9. Gary Solon, 2002. "Cross-Country Differences in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 59-66, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cullen, Julie Berry & Long, Mark C. & Reback, Randall, 2013. "Jockeying for position: Strategic high school choice under Texas' top ten percent plan," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 32-48.
    2. Jesse Rothstein & Nathan Wozny, 2013. "Permanent Income and the Black-White Test Score Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(3), pages 510-544.
    3. Pierre-André CHIAPPORI & Sonia OREFFICE & Climent QUINTANA-DOMEQUE, 2016. "Black-White Marital Matching: Race, Anthtopometrics and Socioeconomics," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(4), pages 399-421, December.
    4. Prasad Krishnamurthy & Aaron Edlin, 2014. "Affirmative Action and Stereotypes in Higher Education Admissions," NBER Working Papers 20629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Rodney Andrews & Omari Swinton, 2014. "The Persistent Myths of “Acting White” and Race Neutral Alternatives to Affirmative Action in Admissions," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 41(3), pages 357-371, September.
    6. Yagan, Danny, 2016. "Supply vs. demand under an affirmative action ban: Estimates from UC law schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 38-50.


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