Amy Chua & Jed Rubenfeld (Yale Law School and Yale Law School) have posted Culture and Admissions on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In “The Triple Package,” Chua and Rubenfeld laid out a provocative argument about the traits that enable Americans to succeed. Mormons have recently risen to astonishing business success. Cubans in Miami climbed from poverty to prosperity in a generation. Nigerians earn doctorates at stunningly high rates. Indian and Chinese Americans have much higher incomes than other Americans; Jews may have the highest of all. The Triple Package uncovered the secret to their success. A superiority complex, insecurity, impulse control—these are the elements of the Triple Package, the rare and potent cultural constellation that drives disproportionate group success.
In “Culture and Admissions,” Chua and Rubenfeld argue that these cultural differences have implications for admissions to elite educational institutions at the graduate, undergraduate, and professional school levels. They explicate research that demonstrates that cultural groups within which the Triple Package predominates succeed at substantially higher rates than other group for any given level of measurable qualifications such as test scores and grades. For example, given a Chinese-American applicant and a European-American student with identical test scores and grades, the data shows that the Chinese-American student will be more successful at an elite educational institution. Because the Triple Package cannot be directly measured, admissions criteria may wish to use cultural background as a proxy. For example, Chinese Americans, Immigrant Africans, Mormons, Jews, Cubans, and South Asians might receive a substantial upward adjustment in their index numbers (test scores plus grades) to reflect their greater likelihood of success. Another possible solution would be the imposition of maximum admission quotas for groups (such as persons of European dissent, African Americans, and Latinos other than Cubans) with cultural backgrounds the predict a lower probability of academic success. Chua and Rubenfeld conclude by considering the pluses and minuses of explicit recognition of cultural superiority for the educational mission of elite academic institutions.