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Quality differentials in Italian Universities' freshmen: the case of Medical and Dental Surgery schools


  • Paolo Sestito

    () (Bank of Italy, Structural Economic Analysis Department)

  • Marco Tonello

    () (Catholic University of Milan and University of Milano-Bicocca)


The paper compares the quality of Italian Medical schools� freshmen on the basis of the scores obtained in the locally conducted entry exams which are using a common national test frame. The test is quite selective (partly because of the reduced size of the intake yearly allowed): winners are people on average better than the average graduates of their own secondary schools and 15% of them have already had some college education in other fields. Among Universities there appear to be sizable and stable over time differences in the average quality of freshmen; while students from the South have on average worse results in the tests, those of them moving to Northern Universities contribute to the higher average quality of these Universities� freshmen. Comparing, for Dental Surgery schools which have used both, local tests and a national test (the position in the national test governing the priority in the choice of the school where to enroll), it seems that the latter amplifies (shrinks) the difference between (within each of the several) Universities in the freshmen�s composition.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Sestito & Marco Tonello, 2011. "Quality differentials in Italian Universities' freshmen: the case of Medical and Dental Surgery schools," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 90, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_90_11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. C. Nicholas McKinney & Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth, 2005. "The Collapse of a Medical Labor Clearinghouse (and Why Such Failures Are Rare)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 878-889, June.
    2. Pierre Koning & Karen van der Wiel, 2010. "Ranking the schools: How quality information affects school choice in the Netherlands," CPB Discussion Paper 150, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    3. Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth, 2003. "Unraveling Reduces Mobility in a Labor Market: Gastroenterology with and without a Centralized Match," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1342-1352, December.
    4. Piero Cipollone & Pasqualino Montanaro & Paolo Sestito, 2010. "Value-Added Measures in Italian High Schools: Problems and Findings," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 69(2), pages 81-114, July.
    5. Montgomery, Mark, 2002. "A nested logit model of the choice of a graduate business school," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 471-480, October.
    6. Terry Long, B.Bridget, 2004. "How have college decisions changed over time? An application of the conditional logistic choice model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 271-296.
    7. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2010. "An Empirical Analysis of the Gender Gap in Mathematics," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 210-240, April.
    8. Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth, 2009. "The Effects of a Centralized Clearinghouse on Job Placement, Wages, and Hiring Practices," NBER Chapters,in: Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, pages 235-271 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth, 2005. "The Gastroenterology Fellowship Market: Should There Be a Match?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 372-375, May.
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    More about this item


    college enrollment; freshmen quality; selection mechanisms;

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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