Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation

The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Auriol , Emmanuelle / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Friebel, Guido / Requate, Till / Tsui, Kevin / Wichardt, Philipp / Zulehner, Christine

4 Issues per year

Increased IMPACT FACTOR 2012: 0.551
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.760

VolumeIssuePage

The Informational Value of Affirmative Action in College Admissions

Eric K Furstenberg1

1University of Virginia,

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. Volume 7, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, DOI: 10.2202/1935-1682.1709, August 2007

Publication History:
Published Online:
2007-08-09

Abstract

This article develops a theoretical model of college admissions to investigate the effects of banning affirmative action admissions policies on the efficiency of the admissions process. Previous work in this area has shown that prohibiting affirmative action causes inefficiency when college quality is an increasing function of diversity. This article identifies an additional reason why colleges and universities use racial preferences in admissions, setting aside explicit demands for diversity. In the theoretical model, the racial identity of the applicants is relevant information for making inferences about an applicant's true academic ability. Preventing admissions officers from using this information results in inefficient selection of applicants, even if diversity does not explicitly enter the objective of the university. Thus, affirmative action is justified solely on informational grounds.

Keywords: public policy; education; discrimination; affirmative action

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.