*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This paper builds on previous studies by pulling together evidence from the College Board (CB), National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). We examine the effects of California's ban of affirmative action – known as Prop 209, which went into effect in 1998 – by focusing on human capital investment prior to college entry, and we highlight the weaknesses of previous research that has attempted to do this. Our main innovations relative to previous literature are the inclusion of additional data, a focus on the performance of all Californians relative to the rest of the country, and adjusting standard errors to be appropriate for our data sources and study design.
Using more comprehensive data and methodological improvements, we find that, in contrast to previous studies, there is little evidence that under-represented minorities in California performed worse on any of our standardized test measures or self-reported high school grade point average after Prop 209 relative to the rest of the country. In addition, the performance of all Californians relative to the rest of the country appears to have remained stable after its affirmative action ban. Finally, we note that our post-policy change period only goes until three years after the implementation of the ban, and the cumulative long-run effects on human capital investment could be larger.
- backes_appam.pdf (294.2KB)