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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - South African Journal of Economics
Title Estimating the size and impact of affirmative action in undergraduate admissions at the University of Cape Town
Volume 85
Issue 4
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Page numbers 515-532
In this paper, we estimate the extent and targeting of affirmative action at the University of Cape Town (UCT), a large public university in South Africa. To do this we use admissions data from the UCT, as well as South African population census data and administrative enrolment and graduation data from the South African Department of Higher Education. We find that affirmative action does have a significant effect on the racial distribution of who is made an offer by the university. We also find that affirmative action is well targeted, with those who we estimate to be beneficiaries being of much lower socioeconomic status than those who we estimate are displaced by affirmative action. Beneficiaries of affirmative action have low graduation rates on average, with those beneficiaries who attend UCT being less likely to graduate than those beneficiaries who enrol at other public universities.

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