Peter Arcidiacono’s research primarily focuses on college major choice, affirmative action in higher education, and dynamic discrete choice models. His work on college major choice illustrates how universities incentivize students to choose particular majors as well as how students respond to the information provided in their college grades. His work on affirmative action has examined how racial preferences affect the colleges and majors under-represented minorities choose as well as how racial preferences affects the formation of cross-racial friendships. He was the testifying expert for Students for Fair Admissions in their lawsuits
against Harvard and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He has used the data revealed in those cases to examine the size and heterogeneity in the preferences given for legacies, athletes, and underrepresented minorities, as well as how Asian Americans are treated in Harvard admissions. His work on dynamic discrete choice models considers computationally cheap ways to estimate models of forward looking behavior where individuals are updating their beliefs and choices over time. The methods he has developed are especially useful in cases when there are unobserved variables that are persistent over time.