IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/spa/wpaper/2016wpecon7.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Redistribution without distortion: Evidence from an affirmative action program at a large Brazilian university

Author

Listed:
  • Fernanda Estevan

    ()

  • Thomas Gall, Louis-Philippe Morin

Abstract

In this paper, we examine an innovative affirmative action policy designed to increase the representation of underprivileged students at UNICAMP, a large and highly ranked Brazilian university. The university awarded bonus points to targeted applicants (i.e., public high school applicants) on their admission exam, as opposed to imposing a typical quota system. Using a rich set of administrative data from UNICAMP, we assess the effect of this policy on the composition of admitted students, and investigate for possible behavioral responses at the extensive (participation) and intensive (preparation effort) margins. We find that the admission probability of public high school applicants, the targeted applicants, significantly increased following the adoption of the affirmative action program. The policy was also associated with sizable redistribution in the composition of admitted students, with a shift towards students from families with lower socio-economic status. Surprisingly, we find little evidence of behavioral reactions to the affirmative action policy, in terms of test performance or application decision.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernanda Estevan & Thomas Gall, Louis-Philippe Morin, 2016. "Redistribution without distortion: Evidence from an affirmative action program at a large Brazilian university," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2016_07, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP), revised 14 Apr 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:spa:wpaper:2016wpecon7
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.repec.eae.fea.usp.br/documentos/Estevan_Gall_Morin_07WPa.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bertrand, Marianne & Hanna, Rema & Mullainathan, Sendhil, 2010. "Affirmative action in education: Evidence from engineering college admissions in India," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 16-29, February.
    2. Qiang Fu & Jingfeng Lu, 2012. "Micro foundations of multi-prize lottery contests: a perspective of noisy performance ranking," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 38(3), pages 497-517, March.
    3. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 2005. "Would the Elimination of Affirmative Action Affect Highly Qualified Minority Applicants? Evidence from California and Texas," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(3), pages 416-434, April.
    4. 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.
    5. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2011. "Robust Inference With Multiway Clustering," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 238-249, April.
    6. Thomas Gall & Patrick Legros & Andrew Newman, 2015. "College Diversity and Investment Incentives," Working Papers 2015-001, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    7. Stein, William E, 2002. "Asymmetric Rent-Seeking with More Than Two Contestants," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(3-4), pages 325-336, December.
    8. 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.
    9. Coate, Stephen & Loury, Glenn, 1993. "Antidiscrimination Enforcement and the Problem of Patronization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 92-98, May.
    10. Franke, Jörg, 2012. "Affirmative action in contest games," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 105-118.
    11. Calsamiglia, Caterina & Franke, Jörg & Rey-Biel, Pedro, 2013. "The incentive effects of affirmative action in a real-effort tournament," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 15-31.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. David Neumark & Harry Holzer, 2000. "Assessing Affirmative Action," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 483-568, September.
    15. Roland G. Fryer Jr. & Glenn C. Loury, 2005. "Affirmative Action and Its Mythology," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 147-162, Summer.
    16. Christopher Cotton & Brent R. Hickman & Joseph P. Price, 2014. "Affirmative Action and Human Capital Investment: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 20397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    18. Louis-Philippe Morin, 2015. "Do Men and Women Respond Differently to Competition? Evidence from a Major Education Reform," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 443-491.
    19. Peter Arcidiacono & Michael Lovenheim, 2016. "Affirmative Action and the Quality-Fit Trade-Off," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(1), pages 3-51, March.
    20. A. Colin Cameron & Douglas L. Miller, 2015. "A Practitioner’s Guide to Cluster-Robust Inference," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 317-372.
    21. McFadden, Daniel, 1974. "The measurement of urban travel demand," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 303-328, November.
    22. Peter Arcidiacono & Michael Lovenheim & Maria Zhu, 2015. "Affirmative Action in Undergraduate Education," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 487-518, August.
    23. Roland G. Fryer Jr. & Glenn C. Loury, 2013. "Valuing Diversity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(4), pages 747-774.
    24. Andrew M. Francis & Maria Tannuri-Pianto, 2012. "Using Brazil’s Racial Continuum to Examine the Short-Term Effects of Affirmative Action in Higher Education," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(3), pages 754-784.
    25. Hao Jia, 2008. "A stochastic derivation of the ratio form of contest success functions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 125-130, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Machado, Cecilia & Szerman, Christiane, 2016. "Centralized Admission and the Student-College Match," IZA Discussion Papers 10251, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Soledad Giardili, 2018. "University Quotas and Peers’ Achievement," Working Papers 854, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    post-secondary education; affirmative action; university admission; inequality.;

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spa:wpaper:2016wpecon7. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Pedro Garcia Duarte). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/deuspbr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.