In 2016, UC Berkeley made a number of changes in its undergraduate admissions: It made much greater use of the wait list than in the past, it changed the process of reading applications and the scoring rubric, it eliminated a separate reading process for disadvantaged students, and it asked many applicants for letters of recommendation. By comparing data on applications and admissions in 2015 and 2016, I assess the impact of these changes, with a particular focus on the admission of students from groups that are underrepresented at Berkeley.
Professor of Public Policy and Economics
Director, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE),University of California, Berkeley
Jesse Rothstein is a public and labor economist. His research focuses on education and tax policy, and particularly on the way that public institutions ameliorate or reinforce the effects of children’s families on their academic and economic outcomes. Within education, he has conducted studies on teacher evaluation; on the value of school infrastructure spending; on affirmative action in college and graduate school admissions; and on the causes and consequences of racial segregation. He has also written about the effects of unemployment insurance on job search and labor force participation; the role of structural factors in impeding recovery from the Great Recession; and the incidence of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Rothstein's work has been published in the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Public Economics, the Chicago Law Review, and the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, among other outlets. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MPP from the Goldman School, and he is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. In 2009-2010 he served as a Senior Economist for the Council of Economic Advisers and then as Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor.