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Promoting Educational Opportunities: Long-run Implications of Affirmative Action in College Admissions

Author

Listed:
  • Joao Ramos

    (University of Southern California)

  • Bernard Herskovic

    (UCLA Anderson School of Management)

Abstract

This paper investigates the implications of affirmative action in college admissions for welfare, aggregate output, educational investment decisions and intergenerational persistence of earnings. We construct an overlapping-generations model in which parents choose how much to invest in their child's education, thereby increasing both human capital and likelihood of college admission. Affirmative action improves the pool of admitted students, although it changes incentives towards educational investments. We calibrate the model to quantify affirmative action long-run effects. We find that affirmative action targeting the bottom quintile of the income distribution is a powerful policy to reduce intergenerational persistence of earnings and improve welfare and aggregate output.

Suggested Citation

  • Joao Ramos & Bernard Herskovic, 2017. "Promoting Educational Opportunities: Long-run Implications of Affirmative Action in College Admissions," 2017 Meeting Papers 1552, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed017:1552
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Kala Krishna & Alexander Tarasov, 2016. "Affirmative Action: One Size Does Not Fit All," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 215-252, May.
    3. Hans A. Holter, 2015. "Accounting for cross‐country differences in intergenerational earnings persistence: The impact of taxation and public education expenditure," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(2), pages 385-428, July.
    4. Diego Restuccia & Carlos Urrutia, 2004. "Intergenerational Persistence of Earnings: The Role of Early and College Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1354-1378, December.
    5. Peter Arcidiacono, 2005. "Affirmative Action in Higher Education: How Do Admission and Financial Aid Rules Affect Future Earnings?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1477-1524, September.
    6. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-1189, December.
    7. William Blankenau & Xiaoyan Youderian, 2015. "Early childhood education expenditures and the intergenerational persistence of income," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(2), pages 334-349, April.
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