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Would the Elimination of Affirmative Action Affect Highly Qualified Minority Applicants? Evidence from California and Texas

44 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2004  

David Card

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Alan B. Krueger

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: March 2004

Abstract

Between 1996 and 1998 California and Texas eliminated the use of affirmative action in college and university admissions. At the states' elite public universities admission rates of black and Hispanic students fell by 30-50 percent and minority representation in the entering freshman classes declined. In this paper we ask whether the elimination of affirmative action caused any change in the college application behavior of minority students in the two states. A particular concern is that highly qualified minorities - who were not directly affected by the policy change - would be dissuaded from applying to elite public schools, either because of the decline in campus diversity or because of uncertainty about their admission prospects. We use information from SAT-takers in the two states to compare the fractions of minority students who sent their test scores to selective state institutions before and after the elimination of affirmative action. We find no change in the SAT-sending behavior of highly qualified black or Hispanic students in either state.

JEL Classification: I28, J78

Suggested Citation

Card, David and Krueger, Alan B., Would the Elimination of Affirmative Action Affect Highly Qualified Minority Applicants? Evidence from California and Texas (March 2004). NBER Working Paper No. W10366. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=516707

David E. Card (Contact Author)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

Room 3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States
510-642-5222 (Phone)
510-643-7042 (Fax)

Alan B. Krueger

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-2098
United States
609-258-4046 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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