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A Field Experiment on Course Bidding at Business Schools

Author

Listed:
  • Aradhna Krishna

    (University of Michigan)

  • M. Utku Unver

    (Koc University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Aradhna Krishna & M. Utku Unver, 2004. "A Field Experiment on Course Bidding at Business Schools," Experimental 0407003, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Mar 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0407003
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    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/exp/papers/0407/0407003.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Sönmez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 729-747, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Chen, Yan & Sonmez, Tayfun, 2006. "School choice: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 202-231, March.
    4. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments

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