Government

The Effects Of University Affirmative Action Policies On The Human Capital Development Of Minority Children: Do Expectations Matter?

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Executive Summary

Research shows that minority children enter the labor market with lower levels of acquired skill than their white counterparts. The causes of this skill gap, however, are not entirely understood. This paper analyzes one possible cause: the impact of a perceived lack of future opportunities on the human capital investment decisions of minority children and parents. Using NLSY79 data, the author takes advantage of changes in affirmative action laws regarding university admissions as a natural experiment. The author tests for changes in a variety of child and parental human capital investment variables such as time spent studying and parental involvement for children below the age of 15.

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