"Meritocracy and Its Discontent: Long-run Effects of Repeated School Admission Reforms" - Yusuke Narita, Yale University

Nov 6, 1:20 pm2:35 pm
Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building, Room 399



Event Description


What happens if selective colleges change their admission policies? We answer this by analyzing the world's first introduction of nationally centralized meritocratic admissions in the early twentieth century. We find a persistent meritocracy-equity tradeoff. The centralized admissions process admitted more high-achieving applicants, consequently producing more future top bureaucratic elites from the exposed cohorts. But this impact came at the distributional cost of urban-born high-achievers crowding out rural-born students from elite higher education and career advancement. Several decades later, the meritocratic centralization enlarged the urban advantage to produce top income earners and other career elites.