Although affirmative action in college admissions is constitutionally permissible, several states prohibit it. We investigate whether bans push black and Latino students from in-state public selective colleges to other types of postsecondary institutions, thus contributing to talent loss among these groups. Unlike most other studies, we analyze national data (the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009) so that we can follow students across state lines. We find no evidence that students from ban states shift from one type of selective college to another; that is, from in-state public flagships to in-state private ones or selective colleges in other states. However, the odds of attending a nonselective college, instead of an in-state public selective college, are almost three times higher among blacks and Latinos in ban states compared with their counterparts in states without bans. We argue that bans on affirmative action may contribute to talent loss among black and Latino students.

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