NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Tolga Yuret

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Working Papers

November 2003Color-Blind Affirmative Action
with Roland Fryer, Glenn C. Loury: w10103
This paper presents a conceptual framework for understanding the consequences of the widespread adoption of race-neutral alternatives' to conventional racial affirmative action policies in college admissions. A simple model of applicant competition with endogenous effort is utilized to show that, in comparison to color-conscious affirmative action, these color-blind alternatives can significantly lower the efficiency of the student selection process in equilibrium. We examine data on matriculates at several selective colleges and universities to estimate the magnitudes involved. It is shown that the short-run efficiency losses of implementing color-blind affirmative action (in our sample) are four to five times as high as color-conscious affirmative action.

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