Thursday, October 11, 2012

How to Think About Affirmative Action Like an Economist

The Atlantic
Oct 10 2012, 1:46 PM ET

Does affirmative action cheat hard-working white students? Does it hurt minorities? Does it even work? That's the high-stakes debate happening now at the Supreme Court. Here's how a stoic economist might think about it.

If you're hoping today's affirmative action case at the Supreme Court will finally settle the issue of whether race should play a role in college admissions ... tough luck. Justice Anthony Kennedy is widely considered the swing vote this time around, so chances are we're looking at a mushy compromise decision. And that means we're also bound to keep on having the same visceral arguments about skin color and academic opportunity that have been raging in this country for half a century.

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