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Can a Summer Make a Difference? The Impact of the American Economic Association Summer Program on Minority Student Outcomes

Listed author(s):
  • Charles M. Becker

    (Duke University)

  • Cecilia Elena Rouse

    (Princeton University and NBER)

  • Mingyu Chen

    (Princeton University)

Registered author(s):

    In the 1970s, the American Economic Association (AEA) was one of several professional associations to launch a summer program with the goal of increasing racial and ethnic diversity in its profession. In this paper we estimate the effectiveness of the AEA's program which, to the best of our knowledge, is the first to rigorously study such a summer program. Using a comparison group consisting of those who applied to, but did not attend, the program and controlling for an array of background characteristics, we find that program participants were over 40 percentage points more likely to apply to and attend a PhD program in economics, 26 percentage points more likely to complete a PhD,and about 15 percentage points more likely to ever work in an economics-related academic job. Using our estimates, we calculate that the program may directly account for 17-21 percent of the PhDs awarded to minorities in economics over the past 20 years.

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    Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. in its series Working Papers with number 581.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2014
    Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:581
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    1. Moro, Andrea & Norman, Peter, 2003. "Affirmative action in a competitive economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 567-594, March.
    2. Wayne A. Grove & Donald H. Dutkowsky & Andrew Grodner, 2007. "Survive Then Thrive: Determinants Of Success In The Economics Ph.D. Program," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(4), pages 864-871, October.
    3. Hale, Galina & Regev, Tali, 2014. "Gender ratios at top PhD programs in economics," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 55-70.
    4. Robert W. Fairlie & Florian Hoffmann & Philip Oreopoulos, 2014. "A Community College Instructor Like Me: Race and Ethnicity Interactions in the Classroom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2567-2591, August.
    5. Andrew Schotter & Keith Weigelt, 1992. "Asymmetric Tournaments, Equal Opportunity Laws, and Affirmative Action: Some Experimental Results," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 511-539.
    6. Wayne A. Grove & Stephen Wu, 2007. "The Search for Economics Talent: Doctoral Completion and Research Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 506-511, May.
    7. Ben Backes, 2012. "Do Affirmative Action Bans Lower Minority College Enrollment and Attainment?: Evidence from Statewide Bans," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 435-455.
    8. Peter Hinrichs, 2012. "The Effects of Affirmative Action Bans on College Enrollment, Educational Attainment, and the Demographic Composition of Universities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 712-722, August.
    9. Dickson, Lisa M., 2006. "Does ending affirmative action in college admissions lower the percent of minority students applying to college?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 109-119, February.
    10. Marjorie B. McElroy, 2013. "Report: Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 744-755, May.
    11. Michael A. Leeds, 1992. "Who Benefits from Affirmative Action? The Case of the AEA Summer Minority Program 1986-1990," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 149-156, Spring.
    12. Kim-Sau Chung, 2000. "Role Models and Arguments for Affirmative Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 640-648, June.
    13. Gregory N. Price, 2005. "The Causal Effects of Participation in the American Economic Association Summer Minority Program," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 78-97, July.
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