Student incentives and preferential treatment in college admissions

Pastine, I. and Pastine, T. (2012) Student incentives and preferential treatment in college admissions. Economics of Education Review, 31 (1). pp. 123-130. ISSN 02727757 (ISSN)

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Abstract

We consider a framework in which the optimal admissions policy of a purely academic-quality oriented college implements preferential treatment in favor of the student from the deprived socioeconomic background which maximizes the competition between candidates. We find that the exact form of the preferential treatment admissions policy matters for student incentives and hence for student-body diversity in equilibrium. Preferential treatment policy in college admissions often takes, or is perceived to take, an additive form where the score of the applicant from the deprived background is augmented by a fixed number of points. Such a preferential treatment policy fails to incentivize students from the deprived background. Despite the affirmative action, the level of preferential treatment that achieves academic excellence leaves student-body diversity unchanged compared with a background-blind admissions policy and leads to a higher intergroup score gap. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Export Date: 23 February 2015; Correspondence Address: Pastine, I.; University College DublinIreland; email: Ivan.Pastine@ucd.ie; References: Andrews, R.J., Ranchhod, V., Sathy, V., Estimating the responsiveness of college applications to the likelihood of acceptance and financial assistance: Evidence from Texas (2010) Economics of Education Review, 29, pp. 104-115; Austen-Smith, D., Fryer, R.G., An economic analysis of 'acting white' (2005) Quarterly Journal of Economics, 120 (2), pp. 551-583; Baye, M., Kovenock, D., de Vries, C., The all-pay auction with complete information (1996) Economic Theory, 8, pp. 291-305; Bowen, W., Bok, D., (1998) The shape of the river: Long-term consequences of considering race in college and university admissions, , Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ; Card, D., Krueger, A.B., Would the elimination of affirmative action affect highly qualified minority applicants? Evidence from California and Texas (2005) Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 58 (3), pp. 416-434; Chan, J., Eyster, E., Does banning affirmative action lower college student quality? (2003) The American Economic Review, 93 (3), pp. 858-872; Che, Y.-K., Gale, I., Optimal design of research contests (2003) American Economic Review, 93 (3), pp. 646-671; Cortes, E.K., Do bans on affirmative action hurt minority students? Evidence from the Texas top 10% plan (2010) Economics of Education Review, 29, pp. 1110-1124; Dickson, L.M., Does ending affirmative action in college admissions lower the percent of minority students applying to college? (2006) Economics of Education Review, 25, pp. 109-119; Epple, D., Romano, R., Sieg, H., Diversity and affirmative action in higher education (2008) Journal of Public Economic Theory, 10 (4), pp. 475-501; Espenshade, T., Chung, C., Walling, J., Admission preferences for minority students athletes, and legacies at elite universities (2004) Social Science Quarterly, 85 (5), pp. 1422-1446; Fain, J.R., Affirmative action can increase effort (2009) Journal of Labor Research, 30, pp. 168-175; Franke, J., Does affirmative action reduce effort incentives? A contest game analysis (2010) Ruhr Economic Papers, p. 185; Fryer, R.G., Loury, G.C., Affirmative action and its mythology (2005) Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19 (3), pp. 147-162; Fryer, R.G., Loury, G.C., Affirmative action in winner-take-all markets (2005) Journal of Economic Inequality, 3, pp. 263-280; Fryer, R.G., Loury, G.C., Yuret, T., An economic analysis of color-blind affirmative action (2007) The Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, 24 (2), pp. 319-355; Fu, Q., A theory of affirmative action in college admissions (2006) Economic Inquiry, 44, pp. 420-428; Furstenberg, E., The informational value of affirmative action in college admissions (2007) The B.E, Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 7, p. 1; Furstenberg, E., College admissions reform and racial SAT score gaps: An empirical analysis (Working Paper) (2010) Department of Economics University of Virginia; Hickman, B.R., Effort race gaps and affirmative action: A game-theoretic analysis of college admissions (Working Paper) (2010) Department of Economics University of Chicago.; Hillman, A.L., Riley, J.G., Politically contestable rents and transfers (1989) Economics and Politics, 1 (1), pp. 17-39; Kane, T.J., Racial and ethnic preferences in college admissions (1998) The Black-White test score gap, , Brookings Institution Press, Washington, DC, C. Jencks, M. Phillips (Eds.); Konrad, K.A., Investment in the absence of property rights; the role of incumbency advantages (2002) European Economic Review, 46, pp. 1521-1537; Li, D., Weisman, D., Why preferences in college admissions may yield a more-able student body (2011) Economics of Education Review, 30 (4), pp. 724-728. , August; Long, M.C., College applications and the effect of affirmative action (2004) Journal of Econometrics, 121, pp. 319-342; Phelps, E.S., The statistical theory of racism and sexism (1972) American Economic Review, 62, pp. 659-661; Rotthoff, K.W., Could affirmative action be efficient in higher education? (2008) Economics Letters, 99, pp. 574-576; Weinberger, C.J., Joy, L., The relative earnings of black college graduates 1980-2001 (2007) Race, work and economic opportunity in the 21st century, , Routledge, London, M. Kim (Ed.); Weisskopf, T.E., Impact of reservation on admissions to higher education in India (2004) Economic and Political Weekly, 39 (39), pp. 4339-4349
Uncontrolled Keywords: Affirmative action; All-pay auction; College admissions; Contest; Tournament; academic performance; educational attainment; educational development; higher education; socioeconomic status; student
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2015 08:28
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2015 21:02
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/3527

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