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The Distributional Consequences of Diversity-Enhancing University Admissions Rules

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  • Chan, Jimmy
  • Eyster, Erik

Abstract

This paper examines public attitudes towards university admissions rules by focusing on the imposition of the costs of racial diversity across majority citizens. High-income majority citizens, who tend to have better academic qualifications, favour more diversity under affirmative action, which imposes its costs on marginal majority candidates. Lower-income majority citizens prefer less diversity under affirmative action and would rather achieve diversity by de-emphasizing academic qualifications. Increasing income inequality among majority citizens tends to reduce the median citizen's support for affirmative action. Our results explain why affirmative action has become increasing uppopular among white voters, and why white voters who oppose affirmative action may support top-x-percent rules like those recently introduced in Texas, California and Florida.

Suggested Citation

  • Chan, Jimmy & Eyster, Erik, 2007. "The Distributional Consequences of Diversity-Enhancing University Admissions Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 6278, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6278
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, 2005. "Log-concave probability and its applications," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 26(2), pages 445-469, August.
    2. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Holger Sieg, 2008. "Diversity and Affirmative Action in Higher Education," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(4), pages 475-501, August.
    3. Mark C. Long, 2004. "Race and College Admissions: An Alternative to Affirmative Action?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 1020-1033, November.
    4. Austen-Smith, David & Wallerstein, Michael, 2006. "Redistribution and affirmative action," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1789-1823, November.
    5. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Holger Sieg, 2002. "On the Demographic Composition of Colleges and Universities in Market Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 310-314, May.
    6. Roland Fryer & Glenn C. Loury & Tolga Yuret, 2003. "Color-Blind Affirmative Action," NBER Working Papers 10103, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Eugenio J. Miravete, 2002. "Preserving Log-Concavity Under Convolution: Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1253-1254, May.
    8. Jimmy Chan & Erik Eyster, 2003. "Does Banning Affirmative Action Lower College Student Quality?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 858-872, June.
    9. Coate, Stephen & Loury, Glenn C, 1993. "Will Affirmative-Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1220-1240, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rita Asplund & Oussama Ben Adbelkarim & Ali Skalli, 2008. "An equity perspective on access to, enrolment in and finance of tertiary education," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 261-274.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Affirmative Action; College Admissions; University Admissions;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions

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