In 2012 Brazilian public universities were mandated to use affirmative action policies for candidates from racial and income minorities. We show that the policy makes the students' affirmative action status a strategic choice, and may reject high-achieving minority students while admitting low-achieving majority students. Empirical data shows evidence consistent with this type of unfairness in more than 49\% of the programs. We propose a selection criterion and an incentive-compatible mechanism that, for a wider range of similar problems and the one in Brazil in particular, removes any gain from strategizing over the privileges claimed and is fair.
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