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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 - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - PRES Université de Lyon - CNRS)

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