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On “Mismatch Theory”

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You will be surprised that the argument that racial minorities should be kept out of selective colleges for their own benefit fails to withstand empirical scrutiny:

Yet, I find that the beneficiaries of race-based affirmative action at elite American institutions are better integrated academically and socially by the end of their first years in college, compared to their counterparts from socioeconomically underprivileged backgrounds who attended less selective schools, and are more likely to complete their bachelor’s studies.

The findings from both countries, when taken together, unequivocally establish that affirmative action, whether class- or race-based, does not harm admits’ success in college or labor market prospects.

To the contrary, the beneficiaries of preferential treatment in college admissions in Israel and the U.S. thrive at elite colleges. They would not be better off attending less selective colleges instead.

Experts predict that the Supreme Court may pressure schools to find race-neutral ways of achieving student diversity and American colleges and universities may decide to move from race to class in affirmative action, but the court should think twice before using the mismatch myth as a rationale for this move.

Well, in fairness, the constitutional arguments against affirmative action are no better than the policy ones (“Article I was originally understood in 1787 as forbidding all racial classifications! I am not a crackpot!), so here we are.

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