Affirmative Action and Stereotypes in Higher Education Admissions

32 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2014 Last revised: 30 May 2018

See all articles by Prasad Krishnamurthy

Prasad Krishnamurthy

U.C. Berkeley School of Law

Aaron S. Edlin

University of California at Berkeley; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 22, 2015

Abstract

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

Krishnamurthy, Prasad and Edlin, Aaron S., Affirmative Action and Stereotypes in Higher Education Admissions (April 22, 2015). UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 2512584. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2512584 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2512584

Prasad Krishnamurthy (Contact Author)

U.C. Berkeley School of Law ( email )

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

HOME PAGE: https://www.law.berkeley.edu/our-faculty/faculty-profiles/prasad-krishnamurthy/

Aaron S. Edlin

University of California at Berkeley ( email )

Dept of Economics 549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-642-4719 (Phone)
510-643-0413 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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