Using detailed data on the 2008 graduating class from an elite engineering institution in India, we evaluate the impact of affirmative action policies in higher education focusing on three issues: targeting, catch up, and mismatch. We find that admission preferences effectively target minority students who are poorer than average displaced nonminority students. Moreover, we find that minority students, especially those in more selective majors, fall behind their same-major peers in terms of grades as they progress through college. We also identify evidence in favor of the mismatch hypothesis: Once we control for selection into majors, minority students in more selective majors end up earning less than they would have had if they had chosen a less selective major.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities(all)