Diversity and Redistributive Preferences: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment in Colombia

39 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2016

See all articles by Juliana Londono-Velez

Juliana Londono-Velez

California, Berkeley, College of Letters & Science, Department of Economics, Students

Date Written: September 21, 2016

Abstract

Does class diversity affect preferences for redistribution and academic performance? I present results testing the effect of exposure to poor individuals on rich individuals’ perceptions of inequality and poverty, beliefs of social justice, redistributive preferences, and academic outcomes. I exploit the plausibly exogenous timing of a financial aid program that generated an unprecedented and discontinuous jump in the presence of poor students at an elite university in Colombia and test the effect of this shock in peer characteristics using survey experiments. I find a significant positive effect of exposure to poor students on interactions among students with heterogeneous family backgrounds, an increase in perceived inequality, poverty and upward social mobility, a higher perception of meritocracy in college admissions, and a stronger support for redistribution. I find no significant effect on dropout rates and GPA. Moreover, I find weak evidence that younger cohorts are reacting to what has become a more competitive college admissions process by exerting more effort in preparing for the entry exam.

Keywords: Redistributive Preferences, Perception of Inequality, Diversity

JEL Classification: H23, I22, I23, I24, O15

Suggested Citation

Londono-Velez, Juliana, Diversity and Redistributive Preferences: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment in Colombia (September 21, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2865932 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2865932

Juliana Londono-Velez (Contact Author)

California, Berkeley, College of Letters & Science, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

Berkeley, CA
United States

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