Helping Minorities by Ending Affirmative Action? A Review of 'Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit It'
43 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2013 Last revised: 15 Mar 2014
Date Written: September 18, 2013
In 'Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It' (2012), Professor Richard Sander and journalist Stuart Taylor claim that affirmative action hurts black and Hispanic students academically and professionally by placing them in undergraduate schools and law schools that far exceed their academic indexes as measured by board score and grade point average. The authors want black and Hispanic students to "cascade" down to academically appropriate schools, such as HBCUs, which would thereby end affirmative action. While the authors say they have the best interests of black and Hispanic students at heart, they use faulty augmentation to support their contentions. Relevant evidence is cherry-picked or completely ignored, black and Hispanic students are stereotyped, the reader is asked to accept myopic measurements of academic and professional success, and corporations that support diversity are seen as looking for an excuse to use racial preferences. Not unlike its predecessor theory, the "fit hypothesis," the mismatch theory will not bring an end to affirmative action on the merits.
Keywords: Affirmative action, mismatch theory, minorities, diversity, law school admissions, college admissions
JEL Classification: K10, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation