Conditional on enrollment, African American students are substantially less likely to graduate from four-year public universities than white students. Using administrative micro-data from Missouri, we decompose the graduation gap into racial differences in four factors: (i) how students sort to universities, (ii) how students sort to initial majors, (iii) high-school quality, and (iv) other preentry skills. Preentry skills explain 65 and 86 percent of the gap for women and men respectively. A small role is found for differential sorting into college, driven by African Americans' disproportionate representation in urban schools and schools at the very bottom of the quality distribution.
"Race and College Success: Evidence from Missouri." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
Analysis of Education
Higher Education; Research Institutions
Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population; Neighborhood Characteristics