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College Admissions in China : A Mechanism Design Perspective

  • Min Zhu

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure (ENS) - Lyon - PRES Université de Lyon - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I)

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    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.

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    Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00860931.

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    Date of creation: 11 Sep 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00860931
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