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The University of Southampton
EconomicsPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

1408 College Admission and High School Integration (F. Estevan, T. Gall, P. Legros & A. Newman)

Authors: Fernanda Estevan (University of Ottawa), Thomas Gall (University of Southampton), Patrick Legros (Universit´e Libre de Bruxelles and CEPR) & Andrew F. Newman (Boston University and CEPR)

Paper no: 1408

This paper examines possible effects of college admission policy on aggregate outcomes at the high school stage. Specifically, we investigate whether a policy that bases college admission on relative performance at high school could modify in the aggregate the degree of segregation in schools, by inducing some students to relocate to schools that offer weaker competition. In a matching model, such high school arbitrage will occur in equilibrium and typically result in desegregating high schools, if schools are segregated with regards to socio-economic characteristics that are correlated with academic performance and race. This is supported by empirical evidence on the effects of the Texas Top Ten Percent Law, indicating that a policy designed to support diversity at the college level in fact achieved high school desegregation, unintentionally generating incentives for some students to choose schools strategically.
Keywords: Matching, affirmative action, education, college admission,
high school desegregation, Texas Top Ten Percent.
JEL: C78, I23, D45, J78.

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