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Does Banning Affirmative Action Affect Racial SAT Score Gaps? An Empirical Analysis


  • Eric Furstenberg

    () (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)


This paper conducts an empirical analysis of SAT scores to determine if banning affirmative action has any significant impact on the SAT scores of college bound minority high school students. A rational high school student should alter the amount of time spent studying during high school if any policy affects the marginal return to that activity. Thus, a natural question to ask is whether banning affirmative action affects minoritiesÕ SAT scores differently than it affects nonÐminoritiesÕ SAT scores. My analysis centers on the recent elimination of affirmative action in California and Texas. Using SAT data obtained from The College Board, I compare the changes of the test score gap between minorities and nonÐminorities over time in the treatment states, relative to a set of control group states.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Furstenberg, 2005. "Does Banning Affirmative Action Affect Racial SAT Score Gaps? An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 21, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary, revised 28 Sep 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:21

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre Gouedard, 2017. "Teachers’ careers and students’ paths in higher education. Three essays on public policy evaluation," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/7hhel11bit9, Sciences Po.

    More about this item


    public policy; education; discrimination; affirmative action;

    JEL classification:

    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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