On July 30, 2018, Boyden Gray & Associates filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of prominent economists in a lawsuit against Harvard University for alleged racial discrimination in the college admissions process. The case, Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, is pending in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
The five amici are leading economists and econometrics scholars who have extensively studied and written about discrete choice modeling and econometrics tools of the kind used by the experts in the Harvard case. As the brief explains, amici are of the view that the statistical model utilized by the plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Peter Arcidiacono, is methodologically sound. In particular, amici are of the opinion (1) that the “personal rating” scores used by Harvard in its admissions process are biased against Asian Americans, (2) that the statistical model used by Dr. Arcidiacono correctly accounts for racial disparities in how Harvard treats “disadvantaged” students, and (3) that it was reasonable for Dr. Arcidiacono to exclude applicants in special recruiting categories — who receive unusual attention from Harvard that is not afforded to other applicants — from the sample studied in his preferred model.
The economists’ amicus brief is available here.