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College Admissions in China : A Mechanism Design Perspective

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  • Min Zhu

    () (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)

Abstract

This paper justifies the evolution of the college admissions system in China from a mechanism design perspective. The sequential choice algorithm and the parallel choice algorithm used in the context of China’s college admissions system are formulated as the well-studied Boston mechanism and the Simple Serial Dictatorship mechanism. We review both theoretical and experimental mechanism design literature in similar assignment problems. Studies show that the Boston mechanism does not eliminate justified envy, is not strategy-proof and is not Pareto-efficient. The Simple Serial Dictatorship mechanism eliminates justified envy, is strategy-proof and is Pareto-efficient, thus outperforming the Boston mechanism in all three criteria. This result provides justification for the transition in recent years from the sequential choice algorithm to the parallel choice algorithm in China’s college admissions practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Min Zhu, 2013. "College Admissions in China : A Mechanism Design Perspective," Working Papers 1327, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
  • Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1327
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    college admissions in China; mechanism design; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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