Affirmative Action and Stereotypes in Higher Education Admissions
32 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2014 Last revised: 30 May 2018
Date Written: April 22, 2015
Many critics of affirmative action argue that lower admission standards cause such stereotypes and suggest group-blind admissions as a remedy. We show that when stereotypes result from social inequality, they can persist under group-blind admissions. In such cases, eliminating stereotypes perversely requires a higher admission standard for disadvantaged students. If a school seeks both to treat students equally and limit stereotypes, the optimal admission policy would still impose a higher standard on disadvantaged students. A third goal, such as equal representation, is required to justify group-blind admissions.
Keywords: affirmative action, stereotypes, education, admission policy
JEL Classification: A13, D63, D82, I20, K00, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation