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Entrance Quotas and Admission to Medical Schools: A Sequential Probit Model

  • Kathy Cannings
  • Sophie Mahseredjian
  • Claude Montmarquette

In this paper, we use a data set on admissions and enrolments for entry into the medical school of the Universite de Montreal to test the hypothesis that the admission process is meritocratic and free from discrimination and arbitrary decisions. The paper analyses the difficulty of choosing among different categories of applicants in the context of entrance quotas pertaining to the level of higher education (college, university) from which one applies to medical school. We use a sequential probit model to show that the performance variables, as measured or observed by the admissions committee through a variety of tests, only partially explain the committee's decisions. The school did not admit all the best in terms of performance, and among the best admitted, almost one out of three did not enrol. We explore some socioeconomic determinants of admissions and enrolments, and suggest an alternative approach to the admissions procedure. Dans ce texte, nous utilisons les données sur les admissions ;a la Faculté de médecine de l'Université de Montréal pour tester l'hypothèse que les procédures d'admission sont basées sur le mérite et exemptes de décisions discriminatoires ou arbitraires. Cette étude analyse les difficultés à choisir parmi différentes catégories de candidats dans le contexte où des quotas à l'entrée, selon la catégorie d'étudiants (collégial, universitaire et autres), s'appliquent à la Faculté de médecine. Nous utilisons un modèle probit séquentiel pour montrer que les variables de performance académique individuelle, telles qu'observées et mesurées par le Comité d'admission via une batterie de tests, expliquent partiellement les décisions du Comité. Par ailleurs, il demeure que la Faculté de médecine n'admet pas nécessairement les plus performants. Et parmi les meilleurs admis, un étudiant sur trois décide de ne pas accepter l'offre de l'Université. Nous proposons une approche alternative à la procédure d'admission retenue par l'Université.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 94s-10.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 1994
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:94s-10
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  1. Dudley, L. & Montmarquette, C., 1993. "Government Size and Economic Convergence," Cahiers de recherche 9316, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  2. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human Capital Externalities," NBER Working Papers 4912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Weiler, William C., 1986. "A sequential logit model of the access effects of higher education institutions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 49-55, February.
  4. Kollmann, R., 1993. "Fertility, Consumption and Bequests in a Model with Non- Dynastic Perental Altruism," Cahiers de recherche 9337, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  5. Brown, M C, 1989. "Empirical Determinants of Physician Incomes--Evidence from Canadian Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 273-289.
  6. Kollmann, R., 1993. "Fiscal Policy, Technology Shcks and the US Trade Balance Deficit," Cahiers de recherche 9313, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  7. Takeshi Amemiya, 1975. "Qualitative Response Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 4, number 3, pages 363-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Chiplin, Brian, 1981. "An Alternative Approach to the Measurement of Sex Discrimination: An Illustration from University Entrance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 988-97, December.
  9. Mercenier, J., 1993. "Nonuniqueness of Solutions in Applied General-Equilibrium Models with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition: A Theoretical Curiosum?," Cahiers de recherche 9301, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  10. Bernard F. Lentz & David N. Laband, 1989. "Why So Many Children of Doctors Become Doctors: Nepotism vs. Human Capital Transfers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 396-413.
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