Affirmative Action in Undergraduate Education

Posted: 7 Aug 2015

See all articles by Peter Arcidiacono

Peter Arcidiacono

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

Michael Lovenheim

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis and Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Maria Zhu

Duke University - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 2015

Abstract

The use of race in college admissions is one of the most contentious issues in US higher education. We survey the literature on the impact of racial preferences in college admissions on both minority and majority students. With regard to minority students, particular attention is paid to the scope of preferences as well as how preferences affect graduation, choice of major, and labor market earnings. We also examine how schools respond to bans on racial preferences and the effects these responses have on racial diversity at elite schools. With regard to majority students, we examine the evidence on the returns to attending a more racially diverse school, as well as how racial preferences affect friendship formation. Finally, we supplement studies of affirmative action in the United States with evidence from India, which provides a much more straightforward environment in which to study affirmative action owing to the use of quotas and admissions rules based solely on exam scores.

Suggested Citation

Arcidiacono, Peter and Lovenheim, Michael and Zhu, Maria, Affirmative Action in Undergraduate Education (August 2015). Annual Review of Economics, Vol. 7, pp. 487-518, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2640073 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-economics-080614-115445

Peter Arcidiacono (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Michael Lovenheim

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Maria Zhu

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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