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Racial quotas in higher education and pre-college academic performance: Evidence from Brazil

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  • Guilherme Strifezzi Leal

    (Universitat de Barcelona)

  • Ã lvaro Choi

    (Universitat de Barcelona)

Abstract

The effects of affirmative action on the incentives to human capital accumulation are ambiguous from a theoretical perspective and the scarce empirical evidence on the matter provides mixed results. In this paper, we address this issue by investigating the impacts of Brazil’s Law of Quotas on the students’ performance in the college entrance exam, the ENEM. The law established that a specific share of places in Brazilian federal universities should be filled by non-white students from public high schools. We employ a difference-in-differences approach in order to estimate the effects of the implementation of these quotas on the ENEM scores and provide causal evidence that the law fostered incentives to pre-college human capital accumulation. Moreover, the effects of the quotas were greater in more quantitative- intensive subjects but were not different by gender or parental education, and these impacts increased throughout the first years after the law’s implementation.

Suggested Citation

  • Guilherme Strifezzi Leal & Ã lvaro Choi, 2021. "Racial quotas in higher education and pre-college academic performance: Evidence from Brazil," UB Economics Working Papers 2021/411, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ewp:wpaper:411web
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Racial quotas; Higher education; Equality of opportunity; Academic performance.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education

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