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Course Bidding at Business Schools

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  • Tayfun Sönmez

    ()
    (Boston College)

  • M. Utku Ünver

    (Koç University)

Abstract

Mechanisms that rely on course bidding are widely used at Business Schools in order to allocate seats at oversubscribed courses. Bids play two key roles under these mechanisms: Bids are used to infer student preferences and bids are used to determine who have bigger claims on course seats. We show that these two roles may easily conflict and preferences induced from bids may significantly differ from the true preferences. Therefore while these mechanisms are promoted as market mechanisms, they do not necessarily yield market outcomes. The two conflicting roles of bids is a potential source of efficiency loss part of which can be avoided simply by asking students to state their preferences in addition to bidding and thus separating the two roles of the bids. While there may be multiple market outcomes under this proposal, there is a market outcome which Pareto dominates any other market outcome.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 618.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 12 Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:618

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Keywords: bidding; preferences; mechanism design;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  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. Kojima, Fuhito, 2008. "The law of aggregate demand and welfare in the two-sided matching market," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 581-584, June.
  3. Surajeet Chakravarty & Todd R. Kaplan, 2010. "Optimal Allocation without Transfer Payments," Discussion Papers 1004, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  4. Kojima, Fuhito, 2013. "Efficient resource allocation under multi-unit demand," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 1-14.
  5. Wilfred Amaldoss & Teck-Hua Ho & Aradhna Krishna & Kay-Yut Chen & Preyas Desai & Ganesh Iyer & Sanjay Jain & Noah Lim & John Morgan & Ryan Oprea & Joydeep Srivasatava, 2008. "Experiments on strategic choices and markets," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 417-429, December.
  6. Jens Josephson & Joel Shapiro, 2008. "Interviews and Adverse Selection," Working Papers 349, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  7. John Hatfield, 2009. "Strategy-proof, efficient, and nonbossy quota allocations," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 505-515, September.
  8. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Yeon-Koo Che & Yosuke Yasuda, 2010. "Expanding “Choice” in School Choice," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000062, David K. Levine.
  9. Franz Diebold & Haris Aziz & Martin Bichler & Florian Matthes & Alexander Schneider, 2014. "Course Allocation via Stable Matching," Business & Information Systems Engineering, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 97-110, April.
  10. Mariagiovanna Baccara & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Alistair Wilson & Leeat Yariv, 2009. "A Field Study on Matching with Network Externalities," Working Papers 09-13, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  11. Manea, Mihai, 2007. "Serial dictatorship and Pareto optimality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 316-330, November.
  12. Horstschräer, Julia, 2012. "Decentralizing university admission: Evidence from a natural experiment," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-076, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  13. Chen, Ning & Li, Mengling, 2013. "Ties matter: improving efficiency in course allocation by introducing ties," MPRA Paper 47031, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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