AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN COLLEGE ADMISSIONS: EXAMINING LABOR MARKET EFFECTS OF FOUR ALTERNATIVE POLICIES
A rancorous debate continues to rage over the use of affirmative action policies in college admissions. This article uses a simple signaling model to evaluate the labor market impacts of four types of affirmative action admissions policies. RacE-based preferential policies and policies guaranteeing admission based on high school academic rank may induce discrimination in labor markets when there exists strong heterogeneity in socioeconomic disadvantage within the underrepresented minority group. Under such conditions, it may also be difficult to realize ethnic diversity with disadvantagE-based preferential policies. The article argues instead for affirmative action policies emphasizing intensive college preparation for targeted groups. Copyright 2002 Western Economic Association International.
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