Does Affirmative Action Lead to Mismatch? A New Test and Evidence

34 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2009 Last revised: 5 Mar 2021

See all articles by Peter Arcidiacono

Peter Arcidiacono

Duke University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Esteban M. Aucejo

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Hanming Fang

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Kenneth I. Spenner

Duke University - Department of Sociology

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2009

Abstract

We argue that once we take into account the students' rational enrollment decisions, mismatch in the sense that the intended beneficiary of affirmative action admission policies are made worse off could occur only if selective universities possess private information about students' post-enrollment treatment effects. This necessary condition for mismatch provides the basis for a new test. We propose an empirical methodology to test for private information in such a setting. The test is implemented using data from Campus Life and Learning Project (CLL) at Duke. Evidence shows that Duke does possess private information that is a statistically significant predictor of the students' post-enrollment academic performance. We also propose strategies to evaluate more conclusively whether the evidence of Duke private information has generated mismatch.

Suggested Citation

Arcidiacono, Peter and Aucejo, Esteban M. and Fang, Hanming and Spenner, Kenneth I., Does Affirmative Action Lead to Mismatch? A New Test and Evidence (April 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w14885, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1391832

Peter Arcidiacono

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Esteban M. Aucejo

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Hanming Fang (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
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Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Kenneth I. Spenner

Duke University - Department of Sociology ( email )

United States

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