A study published this month in the Journal of Labor Economics estimates that a nationwide ban on affirmative action in college admissions would cause black and Hispanic enrollment at the nation’s most selective colleges to drop by more than 10 percent.

The research also predicted a 2 percent decline in minority representation at all four-year institutions. The decrease would be chiefly the result of colleges changing their admissions decisions — rather than reductions in the number of minority applications — concluded Jessica Howell, the author of the paper and a professor at California State University.

The study follows findings released last October by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade, which found that Asian students were more likely to be rejected than similar students of other races, while athletes, students from top high schools and low income minority applicants all had an admissions edge.