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Racial quotas in higher education and pre-college academic performance: Evidence from Brazil

Guilherme Strifezzi Leal () and à lvaro Choi ()
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Guilherme Strifezzi Leal: Universitat de Barcelona
à lvaro Choi: Universitat de Barcelona

No 2021/411, UB Economics Working Papers from Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB School of Economics

Abstract: The effects of affirmative action on the incentives to human capital accumulation are ambiguous from a theoretical perspective and the scarce empirical evidence on the matter provides mixed results. In this paper, we address this issue by investigating the impacts of Brazil’s Law of Quotas on the students’ performance in the college entrance exam, the ENEM. The law established that a specific share of places in Brazilian federal universities should be filled by non-white students from public high schools. We employ a difference-in-differences approach in order to estimate the effects of the implementation of these quotas on the ENEM scores and provide causal evidence that the law fostered incentives to pre-college human capital accumulation. Moreover, the effects of the quotas were greater in more quantitative- intensive subjects but were not different by gender or parental education, and these impacts increased throughout the first years after the law’s implementation.

Keywords: Racial quotas; Higher education; Equality of opportunity; Academic performance. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H52 I24 I28 J15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 46 pages
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-lam
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