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Using Brazils Racial Continuum to Examine the Short-Term Effects of Affirmative Action in Higher Education

Monday, March 10, 2014 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus International Affairs Building, 802
In 2004, the University of Brasilia established racial quotas reserving 20% of available admissions slots for students who self-identified as black. A number of features of Brazil, including the nature of the university system and the existence of a racial continuum, make this an insightful opportunity to explore the effects of affirmative action in higher education. Using both data provided by the university and data collected by the authors, we find that racial quotas raised the proportion of black and dark-skinned students, and that displacing applicants were, by many measures, from families with significantly lower socioeconomic status than displaced applicants.