The Top-Ten Way to Integrate High Schools

56 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2017 Last revised: 12 Mar 2018

See all articles by Fernanda Estevan

Fernanda Estevan

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)

Thomas Gall

University of Southampton - Division of Economics

Patrick Legros

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES); Northeastern University, department of economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Andrew F. Newman

Boston University - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 2017

Abstract

We investigate the effects of "top-N percent" policies in college admission on ethnic diversity at the high-school level. These policies produce incentives for students to relocate to schools with weaker academic competition. We provide theoretical conditions under which such school arbitrage will contribute to the desegregation of high schools. Along the way, we show that arbitrage can neutralize the policy at the college level and characterize inter-school flows, which display a cascade effect. Our model's predictions are supported by empirical evidence on the effects of the Texas Top Ten Percent Law, indicating that a policy intended to support diversity at the college level actually helped achieve it in the high schools. Thus, top-N percent and similar location-based policies have potential to be recast as novel instruments for the long-sought goal of achieving high school integration.

Keywords: affirmative action, college admission, education, general equilibrium, high school integration, Matching, Texas Top Ten Percent

JEL Classification: C78, D50, I24, I28, J78

Suggested Citation

Estevan, Fernanda and Gall, Thomas and Legros, Patrick and Newman, Andrew F., The Top-Ten Way to Integrate High Schools (March 2017). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP11910. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2937759

Fernanda Estevan (Contact Author)

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) ( email )

34 Voie du Roman Pays
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, b-1348
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.core.ucl.ac.be/~estevan

Thomas Gall

University of Southampton - Division of Economics ( email )

Southampton, SO17 1BJ
United Kingdom

Patrick Legros

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium
+32 2 650 4219/3 (Phone)
+32 2 650 4475 (Fax)

Northeastern University, department of economics ( email )

301 Lake Hall
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Andrew F. Newman

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-358-4354 (Phone)
617-353-4143 (Fax)

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