Winners and Losers?: The Effect of Gaining and Losing Access to Selective Colleges on Education and Labor Market Outcomes

Colloquium | October 28 | 4-5:30 p.m. | Berkeley Way West, Room 1102, Berkeley Way West (2121 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720)

 Jesse Rothstein, University of California, Berkeley; Department of Economics and Goldman School of Public Policy

 Graduate School of Education

(Joint with Sandra Black and Jeffrey Denning)

College admissions processes are fundamentally a question of tradeoffs: given capacity, admitting one student means rejecting another. Research to date has generally estimated average effects of college selectivity, and has been unable to distinguish between the gains to students gaining access and the losses to students losing access. We use the introduction of the Top Ten Percent Rule and administrative data from the state of Texas to estimate the effect of access to a selective college on student graduation and earnings outcomes. Notably, we separately estimate the effects for students who gain and lose access due to the policy. We find that students who gain access to the University of Texas at Austin see increases in college enrollment and graduation with some evidence of positive earnings gains 7-9 years after college. In contrast, students who lose access do not see declines in overall college enrollment, graduation, or earnings.

About the Speaker. Jesse Rothstein is professor of public policy and economics at the University of California, Berkeley, with affiliations in the Department of Economics and the Goldman School of Public Policy. He is also the director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE); the co-director of the California Policy Lab; and the co-director of the Opportunity Lab. He previously served as Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor and as Senior Economist with the Council of Economic Advisers, Executive Office of the President, both in the Obama Administration.

Rothstein's research focuses on education policy and on the labor market. His recent work includes studies of teacher quality, of school finance, of intergenerational economic mobility, and of the labor market during the Great Recession. His work has been published in leading journals in economics, public policy, education, and law. He testified as an expert witness regarding teacher evaluation in the Vergara v. California trial in 2014.

Rothstein received a Ph.D. in economics and a Masters in Public Policy, both from the University of California, Berkeley, and an A.B. from Harvard. He is a member of the editorial boards of the American Economic Review, Industrial Relations, and the National Education Policy Center. He was named the John T. Dunlop Outstanding Scholar by the Labor and Employment Relations Association in 2011. He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a fellow of the National Education Policy Center, the CESifo Research Network, the IZA, and the Learning Policy Institute.

 goldwasser@berkeley.edu