After equivocating for decades, will the Supreme Court finally declare that discrimination is illegal?
Peter Arcidiacono, an economist at Duke University, and two of his colleagues, Ken Spenner and Esteban Aucejo, published an academic paper in 2012 on how racial preferences affect the number of black science and economics majors at elite universities. It’s the type of research the Supreme Court might keep in mind now that it has agreed to hear cases challenging the use of race-conscious admissions policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina.
Mr. Arcidiacono and his co-authors found that among incoming freshmen at Duke who reported a major, more than 76% of black males intended to major in economics or the hard sciences, a higher percentage than among white males. Yet only 35% of black male students went on to obtain a degree in one of these majors, a drop of 41 percentage points. In contrast, the difference between initial and finishing proportions among white males was only 5 percentage points.
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