Economics homework help

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

( 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

your essay.

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.

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