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Implementing quotas in university admissions: An experimental analysis

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  • Kübler, Dorothea
  • Braun, Sebastian
  • Dwenger, Nadja
  • Westkamp, Alexander

Abstract

Quotas for special groups of students often apply in school or university admission procedures. This paper studies the performance of two mechanisms to implement such quotas in a lab experiment. The fi rst mechanism is a simplifi ed version of the mechanism currently employed by the German central clearinghouse for university admissions, which first allocates seats in the quota for top-grade students before allocating all other seats among remaining applicants. The second is a modifi ed version of the student-proposing deferred acceptance (SDA) algorithm, which simultaneously allocates seats in all quotas. Our main result is that the current procedure, designed to give top-grade students an advantage, actually harms them, as students often fail to grasp the strategic issues involved. The modi ed SDA algorithm signifi cantly improves the matching for top-grade students and could thus be a valuable tool for redesigning university admissions in Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Kübler, Dorothea & Braun, Sebastian & Dwenger, Nadja & Westkamp, Alexander, 2012. "Implementing quotas in university admissions: An experimental analysis," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62048, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc12:62048
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ran I. Shorrer & Sandor Sovago, 2017. "Obvious Mistakes in a Strategically Simple College Admissions Environment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-107/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. repec:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10683-016-9505-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:eecrev:v:101:y:2018:i:c:p:505-511 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Guillen, Pablo & Hing, Alexander, 2014. "Lying through their teeth: Third party advice and truth telling in a strategy proof mechanism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 178-185.
    5. Committee, Nobel Prize, 2012. "Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley: Stable allocations and the practice of market design," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2012-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
    6. repec:eee:gamebe:v:103:y:2017:i:c:p:94-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Goto, Masahiro & Iwasaki, Atsushi & Kawasaki, Yujiro & Yasuda, Yosuke & Yokoo, Makoto, 2014. "Improving Fairness and Efficiency in Matching with Distributional Constraints: An Alternative Solution for the Japanese Medical Residency Match," MPRA Paper 53409, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Guillen, Pablo & Hakimov, Rustamdjan, 2014. "Monkey see, monkey do: Truth-telling in matching algorithms and the manipulation of others," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2014-202, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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