NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Affirmative Action: One Size Does Not Fit All

Kala Krishna, Alexander Tarasov

NBER Working Paper No. 19546
Issued in October 2013
NBER Program(s):   ED

This paper identifies a new reason for giving preferences to the disadvantaged using a model of contests. There are two forces at work: the effort effect working against giving preferences and the selection effect working for them. When education is costly and easy to obtain (as in the U.S.), the selection effect dominates. When education is heavily subsidized and limited in supply (as in India), preferences are welfare reducing. The model also shows that unequal treatment of identical agents can be welfare improving, providing insights into when the counterintuitive policy of rationing educational access to some subgroups is welfare improving.

download in pdf format
   (615 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19546

Published: Kala Krishna & Alexander Tarasov, 2016. "Affirmative Action: One Size Does Not Fit All," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 215-52, May. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Arcidiacono, Aucejo, Coate, and Hotz w18523 Affirmative Action and University Fit: Evidence from Proposition 209
Fryer and Loury w11464 Affirmative Action and Its Mythology
Niederle, Segal, and Vesterlund w13923 How Costly is Diversity? Affirmative Action in Light of Gender Differences in Competitiveness
Muralidharan and Sundararaman w19440 Contract Teachers: Experimental Evidence from India
Holzer and Neumark w7323 Assessing Affirmative Action
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us