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Mismatch in Law School

  • Jesse Rothstein

    (Princeton University and NBER)

  • Albert Yoon

    (Northwestern University)

An important criticism of affirmative action policies in admissions is that they may hurt minority students who are thereby induced to attend selective schools. We use two comparisons to identify so-called “mismatch” effects in law schools, with consistent results. Black students attain better employment outcomes than do whites with similar credentials. Any mismatch effects on graduation and bar exam passage rates are confined to the bottom quintile of the entering credentials distribution, where selection bias is an important, potentially confounding factor. Elite law schools’ use of affirmative action thus does not appear to generate mismatch effects.

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Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies. in its series Working Papers with number 79.

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Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pri:cepsud:123rothstein
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  1. Dinardo, J. & Fortin, N.M. & Lemieux, T., 1994. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: a Semiparametric Approach," Cahiers de recherche 9406, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  2. Alan Krueger & Jesse Rothstein & Sarah Turner, 2005. "Race, Income, and College in 25 Years: The Continuing Legacy of Segregation and Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 11445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jesse Rothstein & Albert Yoon, 2008. "Mismatch in Law School," NBER Working Papers 14275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Loury, Linda Datcher & Garman, David, 1995. "College Selectivity and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 289-308, April.
  5. David Neumark & Harry Holzer, 2000. "Assessing Affirmative Action," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 483-568, September.
  6. Jesse Rothstein & Albert H. Yoon, 2008. "Affirmative Action in Law School Admissions: What Do Racial Preferences Do?," NBER Working Papers 14276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2000. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," NBER Working Papers 7831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 2002. "Estimating The Payoff To Attending A More Selective College: An Application Of Selection On Observables And Unobservables," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1491-1527, November.
  9. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies," NBER Working Papers 6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rothstein, J.M.Jesse M., 2004. "College performance predictions and the SAT," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 297-317.
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