A remark on color-blind affirmative action

Debraj Ray, Rajiv Sethi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Faced with legal challenges to explicitly race-contingent admissions policies, elite educational institutions have turned to criteria that meet diversity goals without being formally contingent on applicant identity. We establish that under weak conditions that apply generically, such color-blind affirmative action policies must be nonmonotone, in the sense that within each social group, some students with lower scores are admitted while others with higher scores are denied. In addition, we argue that blind rules can generate greater disparities in mean scores across groups conditional on acceptance than would arise if explicitly race-contingent policies were permitted.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)399-406
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Public Economic Theory
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Jun 2010

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Finance
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Economics and Econometrics


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