is calculating that if Harvard simply selected
admittees randomly among the top 10% of its applicants
(as measured on test scores and high school GPA) then
- the Asian share at
Harvard would rise from 24.9% to 51.7%,
- the white share
would drop slightly from 37.6% to 35.5%,
- the Hispanic share
would plummet from 14.9% to 2.7%
- the black share
would vanish from 15.8% to 0.9%.
current black share (15.8%) is extremely high.
there is a ratchet effect in terms of black shares? At
some point, Harvard’s endowment is doing well, so they
spend a lot of money to boost their black share. But
then Stanford gets a big windfall and ups the bidding
war for black talent. And then Yale jumps in with
massive money. Harvard should respond by letting its
share of blacks fall, but that could lead to Bad
Publicity, so it doubles down. And around and around,
until blacks wind up absurdly over-represented at
Harvard relative to their academic skills.
at how Asians would be a majority at Harvard under a
more objective system, current Harvard president
Lawrence S. Bacow must now understand how Harvard
president Abbott Lawrence Lowell felt in 1922 when he
imposed a quota system to keep the then rising
ethnicity’s share down.
worry in both cases was that if they just let in the
top students, Harvard, like Yogi Berra’s former
favorite restaurant, would get so popular that nobody
would want to go there anymore.
numbers come from Table 5.3R on p. 110 of
EXPERT REPORT OF PETER S. ARCIDIACONO
for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard
14-cv-14176-ADB (D. Mass)
Arcidiacono of the Duke Econ department is a hired gun
expert witness for the plaintiffs in the Harvard
discrimination case. He’s battling Harvard’s hired gun
economics expert David Card. So, keep that in mind
when evaluating their statements.
offers an interesting riposte to the ACLU’s recent