GREXIT: VALIDITY AND DIVERSITY IMPLICATIONS OF GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATION OPTIONAL POLICIES IN GRADUATE SCHOOL ADMISSIONS
Job Market Paper
Universities and departments across the USA started eliminating requirements of standardized testing in applications to undergraduate and graduate programs in recent years and this trend has only accelerated in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the motivation for this change is increasing access and inclusion of under-represented groups, there is little empirical or analytical evidence on whether testing-optional policies will serve the intentions of policy-makers. Using a large novel dataset of applicants to a top social science department matched to long-run job placements of all applicants, I document the implications of GRE-optional policies on long-run success and diversity of admitted cohorts. Results suggest that although the validity of GRE for long-run outcomes is less clear-cut, the scores are an important predictor of whether applicants are offered admission by the committee. Using discrete choice models and classification algorithms, I simulate admission decisions of this department and study counterfactual of GRE-optional policies being implemented. Assuming the committee behavior does not change in response to policy change, I find that GRE-optional policies can potentially lead to sub-optimal outcomes in terms of racial diversity, gender equality, and selection of candidates that are more successful in the long run. I explain possible channels that can drive these results in an equilibrium model and discuss merits of possible policies in terms of achieving better outcomes for candidates who come from less privileged backgrounds while providing efficiency in admissions process for departments.
WORK IN PROGRESS
EFFICIENCY AND DIVERSITY OF STATISTICAL DISCRIMINATION
With David S. Lee