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Preference Discovery in University Admissions: The Case for Dynamic Multioffer Mechanisms

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  • Julien Grenet

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Yinghua He

    (Rice University [Houston], TSE-R - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Dorothea Kübler

    (WZB - Social Science Research Center Berlin - Social Science Research Center Berlin, Technical University Berlin)

Abstract

We document quasi-experimental evidence against the common assumption in the matching literature that agents have full information on their own preferences. In Germany's university admissions, the first stages of the Gale-Shapley algorithm are implemented in real time, allowing for multiple offers per student. We demonstrate that nonexploding early offers are accepted more often than later offers, despite not being more desirable. These results, together with survey evidence and a theoretical model, are consistent with students' costly discovery of preferences. A novel dynamic multioffer mechanism that batches early offers improves matching efficiency by informing students of offer availability before preference discovery.

Suggested Citation

  • Julien Grenet & Yinghua He & Dorothea Kübler, 2022. "Preference Discovery in University Admissions: The Case for Dynamic Multioffer Mechanisms," PSE Working Papers halshs-02146792, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-02146792
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02146792v3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Julien Grenet & YingHua He & Dorothea Kübler, 2022. "Preference Discovery in University Admissions: The Case for Dynamic Multioffer Mechanisms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 130(6), pages 1427-1476.
    2. Li Chen & Juan S. Pereyra & Min Zhu, 2022. "Time-constrained Dynamic Mechanisms for College Admissions," Papers 2207.12179, arXiv.org.
    3. TANAKA Mari & NARITA Yusuke & MORIGUCHI Chiaki, 2020. "Meritocracy and Its Discontent: Long-run Effects of Repeated School Admission Reforms," Discussion papers 20002, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    4. Hakimov, Rustamdjan & Kübler, Dorothea & Pan, Siqi, 2021. "Costly Information Acquisition in Centralized Matching Markets," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 280, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Centralized Matching Market; Gale-Shapley Deferred Acceptance; Mechanism; University Admissions; Early Offers; Information Acquisition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D47 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Market Design
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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