G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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This paper, “University Differences in the Graduation of Minorities in STEM Fields: Evidence from California”, looks interesting. It’s from two Duke researchers – Peter Arcidiacono and Esteban Aucejo – who outraged many at the school after someone came across a working paper of theirs showing that black students tend to have lower GPA and to switch from STEM majors to softer ones. The abstract:
The low number of college graduates with science degrees — particularly among under-represented minorities — is of growing concern. We examine differences across universities in graduating students in different fields. Using student-level data on the University of California system during a period in which racial preferences were in place, we show significant sorting into majors based on academic preparation, with science majors at each campus having on average stronger credentials than their non-science counterparts. Students with relatively weaker academic preparation are significantly more likely to leave the sciences and take longer to graduate at each campus. We show the vast majority of minority students would be more likely to graduate with a science degree and graduate in less time had they attended a lower ranked university. Similar results do not apply for non-minority students.
Their current paper reminds us of the mismatch theory of Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor Jr.
Update: commenter Pnin provides a link to the full paper which is very detailed.