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Course Allocation via Stable Matching

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Author Info

  • Franz Diebold

    ()

  • Haris Aziz

    ()

  • Martin Bichler

    ()

  • Florian Matthes

    ()

  • Alexander Schneider

    ()

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    Abstract

    The allocation of students to courses is a wide-spread and repeated task in higher education, often accomplished by a simple first-come first-served (FCFS) procedure. FCFS is neither stable nor strategy-proof, however. The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Al Roth and Lloyd Shapley for their work on the theory of stable allocations. This theory was influential in many areas, but found surprisingly little application in course allocation as of yet. In this paper, different approaches for course allocation with a focus on appropriate stable matching mechanisms are surveyed. Two such mechanisms are discussed in more detail, the Gale-Shapley student optimal stable mechanism (SOSM) and the efficiency adjusted deferred acceptance mechanism (EADAM). EADAM can be seen as a fundamental recent contribution which recovers efficiency losses from SOSM at the expense of strategy-proofness. In addition to these two important mechanisms, a survey of recent extensions with respect to the assignment of schedules of courses rather than individual courses is provided. The survey of the theoretical literature is complemented with results of a field experiment, which help understand the benefits of stable matching mechanisms in course allocation applications. Copyright Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2014

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s12599-014-0316-6
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Business & Information Systems Engineering.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 97-110

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:binfse:v:6:y:2014:i:2:p:97-110

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    Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/12599

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    Related research

    Keywords: Matching; Stability; Efficiency;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Eric Budish & Estelle Cantillon, 2012. "The Multi-unit Assignment Problem: Theory and Evidence from Course Allocation at Harvard," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/99376, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Paul Milgrom, 2011. "Critical Issues In The Practice Of Market Design," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 311-320, 04.
    3. Yan Chen & Tayfun Sönmez, 2004. "School Choice: An Experimental Study," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 622, Boston College Department of Economics.
    4. Aytek Erdil & Haluk Ergin, 2007. "What`s the Matter with Tie-breaking? Improving Efficiency in School Choice," Economics Series Working Papers 349, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Onur Kesten, 2010. "School Choice with Consent," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1297-1348, August.
    6. Roth, Alvin E, 1984. "The Evolution of the Labor Market for Medical Interns and Residents: A Case Study in Game Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 991-1016, December.
    7. Alexander Westkamp, 2013. "An analysis of the German university admissions system," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 53(3), pages 561-589, August.
    8. Sebastian Braun & Nadja Dwenger & Dorothea Kübler, 2007. "Telling the Truth May Not Pay Off," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 759, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Aradhna Krishna & M. Utku Unver, 2004. "A Field Experiment on Course Bidding at Business Schools," Experimental 0407003, EconWPA, revised 25 Feb 2005.
    10. Lars Ehlers & Bettina Klaus, 2003. "Coalitional strategy-proof and resource-monotonic solutions for multiple assignment problems," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 265-280, October.
    11. Varian, Hal R., 1976. "Two problems in the theory of fairness," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 249-260.
    12. Sebastian Braun & Nadja Dwenger & Dorothea Kübler, 2007. "Telling the Truth May Not Pay Off: An Empirical Study of Centralised University Admissions in Germany," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2007-070, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    13. Alvin E. Roth, 2002. "The Economist as Engineer: Game Theory, Experimentation, and Computation as Tools for Design Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1341-1378, July.
    14. Eric Budish, 2011. "The Combinatorial Assignment Problem: Approximate Competitive Equilibrium from Equal Incomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(6), pages 1061 - 1103.
    15. Aradhna Krishna & M. Utku Ünver, 2008. "Research Note—Improving the Efficiency of Course Bidding at Business Schools: Field and Laboratory Studies," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(2), pages 262-282, 03-04.
    16. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth, 2009. "Strategy-Proofness versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the NYC High School Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1954-78, December.
    17. Shapley, Lloyd & Scarf, Herbert, 1974. "On cores and indivisibility," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 23-37, March.
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