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A Field Experiment on Course Bidding at Business Schools

Listed author(s):
  • Aradhna Krishna

    (University of Michigan)

  • M. Utku Unver

    (Koc University)

Allocation of course seats to students is a challenging task for registrars' offices in universities. Since demand exceeds supply for many courses, course allocation needs to be done equitably and efficiently. Many schools use bidding systems where student bids are used both to infer preferences over courses and to determine student priorities for courses. However, this dual role of bids can result in course allocations not being market outcomes and unnecessary efficiency loss, which can potentially be avoided with the use of an appropriate market mechanism. We report a field experiment done at the University of Michigan Business School in Spring 2004 comparing its typical course bidding mechanism with the alternate Gale-Shapley Pareto-dominant market mechanism. Our results suggest that using the latter could vastly improve efficiency of course allocation systems while facilitating market outcomes.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/exp/papers/0407/0407003.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Experimental with number 0407003.

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Date of creation: 17 Jul 2004
Date of revision: 25 Feb 2005
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0407003
Note: Type of Document - pdf
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Haruvy, Ernan & Roth, Alvin E. & Unver, M. Utku, 2006. "The dynamics of law clerk matching: An experimental and computational investigation of proposals for reform of the market," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 457-486, March.
  2. Chen, Yan & Sonmez, Tayfun, 2006. "School choice: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 202-231, March.
  3. Yan Chen & Tayfun Sönmez, 2002. "Improving Efficiency of On-Campus Housing: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1669-1686, December.
  4. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Sönmez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 729-747, June.
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