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Implementing quotas in university admissions: An experimental analysis

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  • Sebastian Braun
  • Nadja Dwenger
  • Dorothea Kübler
  • Alexander Westkamp

Abstract

Quotas for special groups of students often apply in school or university admission procedures. This paper studies the performance of two mechanisms to implement such quotas in a lab experiment. The first mechanism is a simplified version of the mechanism currently employed by the German central clearinghouse for university admissions, which first allocates seats in the quota for top-grade students before allocating all other seats among remaining applicants. The second is a modified version of the student-proposing deferred acceptance (SDA) algorithm, which simultaneously allocates seats in all quotas. Our main result is that the current procedure, designed to give top-grade students an advantage, actually harms them, as students often fail to grasp the strategic issues involved. The modified SDA algorithm significantly improves the matching for top-grade students and could thus be a valuable tool for redesigning university admissions in Germany.

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File URL: http://www.tax.mpg.de/RePEc/mpi/wpaper/Tax-MPG-RPS-2011-22.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance in its series Working Papers with number implementing_quotas_in_university_admissions.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mpi:wpaper:implementing_quotas_in_university_admissions

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Keywords: College admissions; experiment; quotas; matching; Gale-Shapley mechanism; Boston mechanism;

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References

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  1. Shapley, Lloyd & Scarf, Herbert, 1974. "On cores and indivisibility," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 23-37, March.
  2. Chen, Yan & Sonmez, Tayfun, 2006. "School choice: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 202-231, March.
  3. Joana Pais & Ágnes Pintér & Róbert F. Veszteg, 2011. "College Admissions And The Role Of Information: An Experimental Study," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(3), pages 713-737, 08.
  4. Guillaume Haeringer & Caterina Calsamiglia & Flip Klijn, 2009. "Constrained School Choice: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 2009.29, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. 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.
  6. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Smez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," Discussion Papers 0203-18, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  9. Roth, Alvin E., 1985. "The college admissions problem is not equivalent to the marriage problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 277-288, August.
  10. EHLERS, Lars, 2010. "School Choice with Control," Cahiers de recherche 13-2010, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  11. John H. Kagel & Alvin E. Roth, 2000. "The Dynamics Of Reorganization In Matching Markets: A Laboratory Experiment Motivated By A Natural Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 201-235, February.
  12. Parag A. Pathak & Tayfun Sönmez, 2011. "School Admissions Reform in Chicago and England: Comparing Mechanisms by their Vulnerability to Manipulation," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 784, Boston College Department of Economics.
  13. Fuhito Kojima & Parag A. Pathak, 2009. "Incentives and Stability in Large Two-Sided Matching Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 608-27, June.
  14. Alistair Wilson & Federico Echenique & Leeat Yariv, 2009. "Clearinghouses for Two-Sided Matching: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 487, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2013.
  15. Braun, Sebastian & Dwenger, Nadja & Kübler, Dorothea, 2007. "Telling the Truth May Not Pay Off: An Empirical Study of Centralised University Admissions in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3261, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Joana Pais & Agnes Pinter, 2007. "School Choice and Information. An Experimental Study on Matching Mechanisms," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 018, University of Siena.
  17. Yuichiro Kamada & Fuhito Kojima, 2010. "Efficiency in Matching Markets with Regional Caps: The Case of the Japan Residency Matching Program," Discussion Papers 10-011, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  18. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth, 2005. "The New York City High School Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 364-367, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Goto, Masahiro & Iwasaki, Atsushi & Kawasaki, Yujiro & Yasuda, Yosuke & Yokoo, Makoto, 2014. "Improving Fairness and Efficiency in Matching with Distributional Constraints: An Alternative Solution for the Japanese Medical Residency Match," MPRA Paper 53409, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Guillen, Pablo & Hakimov, Rustamdjan, 2014. "Monkey see, monkey do: Truth-telling in matching algorithms and the manipulation of others," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2014-202, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  3. Committee, Nobel Prize, 2012. "Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley: Stable allocations and the practice of market design," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2012-1, Nobel Prize Committee.

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