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Can Affirmative Action Affect Major Choice?

Fernanda Estevan (), Thomas Gall () and Louis-Philippe Morin ()
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Fernanda Estevan: Sao Paulo School of Economics - FGV
Thomas Gall: University of Southampton

No dp-324, Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series from Boston University - Department of Economics

Abstract: Around the world, students from a disadvantaged background are underrepresented in prestigious and lucrative fields of study, such as medicine and STEM. We know little about whether universities can affect individuals’ major choice and promote increased social mobility. In this paper, we provide evidence that universities can change individuals’ choice of major. We use a natural experiment that expanded the set of majors to which lower SES applicants could be admitted. We find that this change in policy, which was implemented at a very selective university, increased the likelihood of lower SES students to apply for, and get accepted to more prestigious majors.

Keywords: post-secondary education; affirmative action; major choice; social mobility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-05
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http://www.bu.edu/econ/files/2019/05/Unicamp_Career_May_16_2019.pdf

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bos:iedwpr:dp-324

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