Goldman School of Public Policy - University of California, Berkeley

Selected Publications

College Performance Predictions and the SAT

Rothstein, Jesse. Journal of Econometrics 121(1-2), July-August 2004, pp. 297-317.

Abstract

The methods used in most SAT validity studies cannot be justified by any sample selection assumptions and are uninformative about the source of the SAT's predictive power. A new omitted variables estimator is proposed; plausibly consistent estimates of the SAT's contribution to predictions of University of California freshman grade point averages are about 20% smaller than the usual methods imply. Moreover, much of the SAT's predictive power is found to derive from its correlation with high school demographic characteristics: The orthogonal portion of SAT scores is notably less predictive of future performance than is the unadjusted score.