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Family background and the responses to higher SAT scores

Author

Listed:
  • Graetz, Georg

    (Uppsala University)

  • Öckert, Björn

    (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)

  • Nordström Skans, Oskar

    (Uppsala University)

Abstract

Using discontinuities within the Swedish SAT system, we show that additional admission opportunities causally affect college choices. Students with high-educated parents change timing, colleges, and fields in ways that appear rational and informed. In contrast, very talented students with low-educated parents react to higher scores by increasing overall enrolment and graduation rates. Remarkably, most of this effect arises from increased participation in college programs and institutions that they could have attended even with a lower score. This suggests that students with low-educated parents face behavioral barriers even in a setting where colleges are tuition-free, student grants are universal and application systems are simple.

Suggested Citation

  • Graetz, Georg & Öckert, Björn & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2020. "Family background and the responses to higher SAT scores," Working Paper Series 2020:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2020_008
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    Cited by:

    1. Kent Eliasson & Olle Westerlund, 2023. "The urban wage premium and spatial sorting on observed and unobserved ability," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 601-627.
    2. Graetz, Georg & Karimi, Arizo, 2022. "Gender gap variation across assessment types: Explanations and implications," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    3. Berggren, Andrea & Jeppsson, Louise, 2021. "The Impact of Upper Secondary School Flexibility on Sorting and Educational Outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    4. Kent Eliasson & Olle Westerlund, 2023. "The urban wage premium and spatial sorting on observed and unobserved ability," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 601-627.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Educational choice; intergenerational transmission of education; regression dis-continuity design;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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