Family background and the responses to higher SAT scores

Författare: Georg Graetz, Och Oskar Nordström Skans, Och Björn Öckert, Och

Publicerad i: Journal of Human Resources (June 2023) vol. 58, no. 5

Sammanfattning av Working paper 2020:8

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.

Keywords: Educational choice, intergenerational transmission of education, regression discontinuity design
JEL Classification: I21, I23, J62