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Evidence About the Potential Role for Affirmative Action in Higher Education

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Abstract

In two recent cases involving the University of Michigan, the Supreme Court examined whether race should be allowed to play an explicit role in the admission decisions of schools. The primary argument in these court cases and others has been that racial diversity strengthens the quality of education offered to all students. Underlying this argument is the notion that educational benefits arise if interactions between students of different races improve preparation for life after college by, among other things, fostering mutual understanding and correcting misperceptions. Then, a fundamental condition necessary for the primary legal argument to be compelling is that the types of students who choose to enter college actually have incorrect beliefs about individuals from different races at the time of college entrance. In this paper we provide, to the best of our knowledge, the first direct evidence about this condition by taking advantage of unique new data that was collected specifically for this purpose.

Suggested Citation

  • Braz Camargo & Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner, 2008. "Evidence About the Potential Role for Affirmative Action in Higher Education," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20084, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwo:hcuwoc:20084
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    1. Arcidiacono, Peter & Khan, Shakeeb & Vigdor, Jacob L., 2011. "Representation versus assimilation: How do preferences in college admissions affect social interactions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 1-15, February.
    2. Stinebrickner Ralph & Stinebrickner Todd R., 2008. "The Causal Effect of Studying on Academic Performance," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-55, June.
    3. David Marmaros & Bruce Sacerdote, 2006. "How Do Friendships Form?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 79-119.
    4. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2003. "Working during School and Academic Performance," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 449-472, April.
    5. Stinebrickner, Ralph & Stinebrickner, Todd R., 2006. "What can be learned about peer effects using college roommates? Evidence from new survey data and students from disadvantaged backgrounds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1435-1454, September.
    6. Johanne Boisjoly & Greg J. Duncan & Michael Kremer & Dan M. Levy & Jacque Eccles, 2006. "Empathy or Antipathy? The Impact of Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1890-1905, December.
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    8. Cornell, Bradford & Welch, Ivo, 1996. "Culture, Information, and Screening Discrimination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 542-571, June.
    9. Stinebrickner, Ralph & Stinebrickner, T.R.Todd R., 2004. "Time-use and college outcomes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 243-269.
    10. Mayer, Adalbert & Puller, Steven L., 2008. "The old boy (and girl) network: Social network formation on university campuses," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 329-347, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paulo Júlio & José Tavares, 2017. "The Good, the Bad and the Different: Can Gender Quotas Raise the Quality of Politicians?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(335), pages 454-479, July.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General

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