Mismatch in Law School
53 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2006
Date Written: February 1, 2006
An important criticism of affirmative action policies in admissions is that they may hurt minority students who are thereby induced to attend selective schools. We use two comparisons to identify so-called mismatch effects in law schools, with consistent results. Black students attain better employment outcomes than do whites with similar credentials. Any mismatch effects on graduation and bar exam passage rates are confined to the bottom quintile of the entering credentials distribution, where selection bias is an important, potentially confounding factor. Elite law schools' use of affirmative action thus does not appear to generate mismatch effects.
Keywords: affirmative action, mismatch, admissions, law school
JEL Classification: I21, J24, J44, J7, K30
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