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The distributional consequences of diversity-enhancing university admissions rules

By J. Chan and Erik Eyster


This article examines public attitudes toward university admissions rules by focusing on the imposition of the costs of racial diversity across majority citizens. High-income majority citizens, who tend to have better academic qualifications, favor more diversity under affirmative action, which imposes its costs on marginal majority candidates. Low-income majority citizens prefer less diversity under affirmative action and would rather achieve diversity by de-emphasizing academic qualifications. Increasing income inequality among majority citizens tends to reduce the median citizen's support for affirmative action. Our results help explain why affirmative action has become increasingly unpopular among white voters and why white voters who oppose affirmative action may support top-x-percent rules like those recently introduced in California, Florida, and Texas

Topics: HB Economic Theory, LB2300 Higher Education
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1093/jleo
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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