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Take Two! SAT Retaking and College Enrollment Gaps

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  • Joshua Goodman
  • Oded Gurantz
  • Jonathan Smith

Abstract

Only half of SAT-takers retake the exam, with even lower retake rates among low-income students and underrepresented minority (URM) students. We exploit discontinuous jumps in retake probabilities at multiples of 100, driven by left-digit bias, to estimate retaking's causal effects. Retaking substantially improves SAT scores and increases four-year college enrollment rates, particularly for low-income and URM students. Eliminating disparities in retake rates could close up to 10 percent of the income-based gap and up to 7 percent of the race-based gap in four-year college enrollment rates of high school graduates.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua Goodman & Oded Gurantz & Jonathan Smith, 2020. "Take Two! SAT Retaking and College Enrollment Gaps," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 115-158, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:12:y:2020:i:2:p:115-58
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20170503
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesconi, Marco & Slonimczyk, Fabián & Yurko, Anna, 2019. "Democratizing access to higher education in Russia: The consequences of the unified state exam reform," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 56-82.
    2. Bernal, Gloria L. & Penney, Jeffrey, 2019. "Scholarships and student effort: Evidence from Colombia’s Ser Pilo Paga program," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 121-130.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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