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The Distributional Consequences of Diversity-Enhancing University Admissions Rules

  • Chan, Jimmy
  • Eyster, Erik
Registered author(s):

    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.

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    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6278
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    Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6278.

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    Date of creation: May 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6278
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    1. Bagnoli, M. & Bergstrom, T., 1989. "Log-Concave Probability And Its Applications," Papers 89-23, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
    2. Eugenio J. Miravete, 2002. "Preserving Log-Concavity Under Convolution: Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1253-1254, May.
    3. 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.
    4. 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, 08.
    5. Roland G. Freyer, Jr. & Glenn C. Loury & Tolga Yuret, 2003. "Color Blind Affirmative Action," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-131, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    6. Coate, Stephen & Loury, Glenn C, 1993. "Will Affirmative-Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1220-40, December.
    7. 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.
    8. Austen-Smith, David & Wallerstein, Michael, 2006. "Redistribution and affirmative action," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1789-1823, November.
    9. 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.
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