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Telling the Truth May Not Pay Off: An Empirical Study of Centralised University Admissions in Germany

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  • Sebastian Braun
  • Nadja Dwenger
  • Dorothea Kübler

Abstract

We investigate the matching algorithm used by the German central clearinghouse for university admissions (ZVS) in medicine and related subjects. This mechanism consists of three procedures based on final grades from school (“Abiturbestenverfahren”, “Auswahlverfahren der Hochschulen”) and on waiting time (“Wartezeitverfahren”). While these procedures differ in the criteria applied for admission they all make use of priority matching. In priority matching schemes, it is not a dominant strategy for students to submit their true preferences. Thus, strategic behaviour is expected. Using the full data set of applicants, we are able to detect some amount of strategic behaviour which can lead to inefficient matching. Alternative ways to organize the market are briefly discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Braun & Nadja Dwenger & Dorothea Kübler, 2007. "Telling the Truth May Not Pay Off: An Empirical Study of Centralised University Admissions in Germany," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2007-070, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2007-070
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    Cited by:

    1. Klijn, Flip & Pais, Joana & Vorsatz, Marc, 2016. "Affirmative action through minority reserves: An experimental study on school choice," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 72-75.
    2. Nadja Dwenger & Dorothea Kübler & Georg Weizsäcker, 2013. "Preference for Randomization: Empirical and Experimental Evidence," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2013-004, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    3. Alexander Westkamp, 2013. "An analysis of the German university admissions system," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 53(3), pages 561-589, August.
    4. Mira Fischer & Patrick Kampkoetter, 2014. "Effects of the German Universities' Excellence Initiative on Ability Sorting of Students and Perceptions of Educational Quality," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 05-01, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences, revised 25 Jun 2016.
    5. Franz Diebold & Haris Aziz & Martin Bichler & Florian Matthes & Alexander Schneider, 2014. "Course Allocation via Stable Matching," Business & Information Systems Engineering: The International Journal of WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK, Springer;Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI), vol. 6(2), pages 97-110, April.
    6. Horstschräer, Julia, 2012. "University rankings in action? The importance of rankings and an excellence competition for university choice of high-ability students," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1162-1176.
    7. Péter Biró & Sofya Kiselgof, 2015. "College admissions with stable score-limits," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 23(4), pages 727-741, December.
    8. Kóczy Á., László, 2010. "A magyarországi felvételi rendszerek sajátosságai
      [Specific features of Hungarys system of school and university admissions]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(2), pages 142-164.
    9. Kóczy Á., László, 2009. "Központi felvételi rendszerek. Taktikázás és stabilitás
      [Central admission systems. Stratagems and stability]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(5), pages 422-442.
    10. Frank Hüber & Dorothea Kübler, 2011. "Hochschulzulassungen in Deutschland: Wem hilft die Reform durch das „Dialogorientierte Serviceverfahren“?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(4), pages 430-444, November.
    11. Braun, Sebastian & Dwenger, Nadja & Kübler, Dorothea & Westkamp, Alexander, 2012. "Implementing quotas in university admissions: An experimental investigation," Kiel Working Papers 1761, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    12. Sissa Carlsson & Stephan Thomsen, 2014. "Nicht ausgeschöpfte Potenziale in der Kita-Platzvergabe," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 83(1), pages 183-198.
    13. Jens Gudmundsson, 2014. "Sequences in Pairing Problems: A new approach to reconcile stability with strategy-proofness for elementary matching problems," 2014 Papers pgu351, Job Market Papers.
    14. Megalokonomou, Rigissa & Goulas, Sofoklis, 2016. "Which degrees do students prefer during recessions?," MPRA Paper 75355, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Zhang, Juheng & Aytug, Haldun, 2016. "Comparison of imputation methods for discriminant analysis with strategically hidden data," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 255(2), pages 522-530.
    16. Janine Balter & Michela Rancan & Olena Senyuta, 2014. "Truncation in the Matching Markets and Market Ineffciency," RSCAS Working Papers 2014/04, European University Institute.
    17. He, Yinghua, 2012. "Gaming the Boston School Choice Mechanism in Beijing," TSE Working Papers 12-345, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    18. Dwenger, Nadja & Storck, Johanna & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2012. "Do tuition fees affect the mobility of university applicants? Evidence from a natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 155-167.
    19. Hüber, Frank, 2011. "Manipulationsanreize im Gale-Shapley-Algorithmus: Ein Literaturüberblick," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2011-203, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    20. Braun, Sebastian & Dwenger, Nadja & Kübler, Dorothea & Westkamp, Alexander, 2014. "Implementing quotas in university admissions: An experimental analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 232-251.
    21. Dwenger, Nadja & Kübler, Dorothea & Weizsäcker, Georg, 2014. "Flipping a coin: Theory and evidence," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2013-201r, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    22. Sebastian Braun & Nadja Dwenger, 2008. "Success in the University Admission Process in Germany: Regional Provenance Matters," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 789, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    23. Ulrich Kamecke, 2014. "Inefficient School Choice in a Long-Run Urban Equilibrium," CESifo Working Paper Series 4969, CESifo Group Munich.
    24. Horstschräer, Julia, 2012. "Decentralizing university admission: Evidence from a natural experiment," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-076, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Matching; university admissions; strategic behaviour;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • I29 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Other

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