DP11910 College Admission and High School Integration

Author(s): Fernanda Estevan, Thomas Gall, Patrick Legros, Andrew Newman
Publication Date: March 2017
Keyword(s): affirmative action, college admission, education, high school, Matching
JEL(s): C78, D45, I23, J78
Programme Areas: Industrial Organization
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=11910

We investigate whether a policy that bases college admission on relative performance can modify the degree of racial or ethnic segregation in high schools by inducing students to relocate to schools with weaker competition. Theoretically, such school arbitrage will neutralize the admissions policy at the college level. It will result in partial desegregation of the high schools if flows are sufficiently unbiased. These predictions are supported by empirical evidence on the effects of the Texas Top Ten Percent Law, indicating that a policy intended to support diversity at the college level actually helped achieve it in the high schools.