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Affirmative Action and Racial Segregation

Peter Hinrichs

No 201636R, Working Papers from Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Abstract: Prior research suggests that statewide affirmative action bans reduce minority enrollment at selective colleges while leaving overall minority college enrollment unchanged. However, the effect of these bans on across-college racial segregation has not yet been estimated. This effect is theoretically ambiguous due to a U-shaped relationship across colleges between minority enrollment and college selectivity. This paper uses variation in the timing of affirmative action bans across states to estimate their effects on racial segregation as measured by standard exposure and dissimilarity indexes, finding that affirmative action bans have increased segregation across colleges in some cases but reduced it in others. In particular, early affirmative action bans in states with highly selective public universities appear to be associated with less segregation, whereas more recent affirmative action bans appear to be associated with more segregation.

Keywords: segregation; affirmative action; higher education; college admissions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I24 I28 J15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 37 pages
Date: 2019-10-17
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ure
Note: First version of the paper published December 2016
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https://doi.org/10.26509/frbc-wp-201636r Full text (text/html)

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Journal Article: Affirmative Action and Racial Segregation (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Affirmative Action and Racial Segregation (2016) Downloads
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DOI: 10.26509/frbc-wp-201636r

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