Economics homework help.
Writing Assignment 3: DUE NOVEMBER 20 by 2 PM PST on Canvas.
Purpose: In this assignment, you will critically analyze California’s Proposition 16, a ballot
initiative to permit affirmative action (the consideration of race and gender) in public
employment and education. You should answer these questions using the economic concepts
learned in class.
1. Read over the ballot initiative provided on Ballotpedia. Provide two arguments
supporting the proposition and two arguments against the proposition. (We will not give
points if you copy/paste from the article or include direct quotes; read over the arguments
provided and rephrase them in your own words.)
2. Assume that without Proposition 16 there is no way for college admissions officers to
determine the race of applicants (assume they cannot figure out race by name, country of
origin etc.). Suppose that college admissions officers have taste-based discrimination
against Asian students. How would you have expected Proposition 16 to affect the
admission of Asian students at UCSD, if it had passed? Answer the same question under
the assumption that instead college admissions officers statistically discriminate in favor
of Asian students (that is, they assume that the expected GPA for Asian students is higher
than for students of other races). Explain your answers.
3. Suppose that UCSD mechanizes the admissions process by designing an algorithm that
predicts which students will have high GPAs using four observable characteristics: SAT
score, high school GPA, parents’ highest educational attainment, and native English
speaker status. Suppose that each of these factors has a positive impact on expected GPA
(i.e. native English speakers have higher average GPAs than non-native speakers,
students with parents who have PhDs have higher average GPAs than students with
parents who didn’t graduate high school, etc.) Under this system colleges will only admit
students who are predicted to have a GPA above a certain threshold. Would you expect
the racial composition of UCSD to be like that of California?1 Why or why not? Do
algorithms always remove racial bias in decision-making processes? Refer to another
article you read for class in making your argument.2
4. Revise your draft.
• Check: does each paragraph express one clear idea? Do you tell the reader what
that idea is in a topic sentence?
1 “No race or ethnic group constitutes a majority of California’s population: 39% of state residents are Latino, 37%
are white, 15% are Asian American, 6% are African American, 3% are multiracial, and fewer than 1% are American
Indian or Pacific Islander, according to the 2018 American Community Survey.” Quoted from
population/#:~:text=No%20race%20or%20ethnic%20group,the%202018%20American%20Community%20Survey. 2 This can include breakout room readings, papers discussed in lecture, or papers on the syllabus. You must cite this
paper in a Works Cited using the format of your choice.
• Print your draft and read it out loud to help you identify spots where the language
or ideas could be clearer.
• Ask a friend or relative who is NOT in this class to proofread your essay. If you
have someone read over your essay, please mention who did so at the end of your
essay, e.g. “My friend Carla read my essay.”
• If you read outside of the referenced article to assist you with this assignment,
please cite it using the format of your choice.
Format: You need to write using the APA general guidelines for racial and ethnic identity
(posted as APA_Racial and Ethnic Identity.pdf in the assignment instructions on Canvas). We
encourage you to read the guidelines, but most pertinently to this assignment, do not use
“whites” and “blacks”, but rather White people (or workers, Americans, etc.) or Black people.
You have 600 words to say everything you want to say. Write freely and then revise to express
your ideas clearly and concisely. Note that Turnitin can give us a slightly different page count
than Word or .pdf files, so you should aim for a 650 word count maximum to be safe (we will
take off points if Turnitin has you listed as more than 700 words regardless of what your Word
doc count says! Sorry, there is no way for you to check this or for us to do it beforehand.). There
is no need to include your name, PID, headers, titles – stick to the economics.
You must submit a .pdf or .doc file. We are unable to read any other file extension and you will
receive no points for the assignment.
You do not need to write an introduction or conclusion. Be sure that each paragraph states its
focus in a topic sentence.
You can write in the 1st person, using “I” statements (e.g. “I was surprised by what the test
To make it easier for us to read, use Times New Roman 12 point font with double-spaced lines.
Grading: The graders will follow the below rubric. There is no partial credit within any of the
Step 1: pro/con arguments 2 pts: first argument in favor of prop 16
2 pts: second argument in favor of prop 16
2 pts: first argument against prop 16
2 pts: second argument against prop 16
Step 2: prop 16 and Asian student
2 pts: if taste-based, what happens
2 pts: taste-based explanation
2 pts: if statistical, what happens
2 pts: statistical explanation
Step 3: algorithms 2 pts: will UCSD race = CA race?
2 pts: why or why not?
2 pts: do algorithms always solve our
2 pts: cite algorithm paper
Step 4: legibility 2 pts: formatted correctly
2 pts: within 500-700 words (including
headers, footnotes, works cited)
4 pts: turned in before 2PM deadline (if
turned in past 5PM, additional points can
be taken off)
Regrading Policy: The graders will leave detailed comments on your essay explaining where
and why you lost points. You can visit any of the teaching assistants’ office hours to go over
those comments in more detail if you would like further clarification. Teaching assistants are not
available to provide feedback via email.
If you believe you lost points in error, you can submit a regrade request to Alyssa’s email
(email@example.com) until one week after grades are released. In this request you need to state
which step you think you deserve more points on and why. By submitting a request, you agree to
wager half of the lost points, such that if she denies your request she will take those points off
For example, suppose you receive 4/8 points on Step 1 because you only made one argument for
and one argument against Prop 16. If you submit a regrade request for those 4 lost points, and
she rereads your essay and cannot find two more arguments, she will deduct 2 points so you
receive 2/8 points on Step 2.
Given this penalty, you should only submit requests for grades that you are confident were
made in error. We will not tell you via email whether you should submit a request.