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Course Bidding at Business Schools

Mechanisms that rely on course bidding are widely used at business schools in order to allocate seats at oversubscribed courses. Bids play two key roles under these mechanisms: to infer student preferences and to determine who have bigger claims on course seats. We show that these two roles may easily conflict, and preferences induced from bids may significantly differ from the true preferences. Therefore, these mechanisms, which are promoted as market mechanisms, do not necessarily yield market outcomes. We introduce a Pareto-dominant market mechanism that can be implemented by asking students for their preferences in addition to their bids over courses. Copyright (2010) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

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Paper provided by University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 257.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision: Jan 2003
Handle: RePEc:pit:wpaper:257
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  1. Roth, Alvin E., 1985. "The college admissions problem is not equivalent to the marriage problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 277-288, August.
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