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Decentralizing university admission: Evidence from a natural experiment

  • Horstschräer, Julia

Applying a differences-in-differences strategy, I study the decentralization of university admission as a natural experiment. Is the centralized or decentralized procedure better suited to match prospective students to universities? The analysis uses administrative data on all students within Germany and complements the prominent theoretical literature on college admission. The results show that the matching efficiency increased in course of the decentralization. This increase is mainly driven by enabling law schools to abolish admission restrictions. The matching quality is not significantly affected by the decentralization process but suggests that abolishing admission restrictions could be associated with increasing drop-out rates.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 12-076.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:12076
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  1. Joana Pais, 2006. "Random Matching in the College Admissions Problem," Working Papers Department of Economics 2006/13, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  2. Nadja Dwenger & Johanna Storck & Katharina Wrohlich, 2009. "Do Tuition Fees Affect the Mobility of University Applicants?: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 926, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Roth, Alvin E, 1991. "A Natural Experiment in the Organization of Entry-Level Labor Markets: Regional Markets for New Physicians and Surgeons in the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 415-40, June.
  4. Braun, Sebastian & Dwenger, Nadja & Kübler, Dorothea, 2007. "Telling the Truth May Not Pay Off: An Empirical Study of Centralised University Admissions in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3261, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Smez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," Discussion Papers 0203-18, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  6. Joana Pais, 2006. "Incentives in Decentralized Random Matching Markets," Working Papers Department of Economics 2006/12, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  7. Bettina Klaus & Flip Klijn, 2004. "Median Stable Matching for College Admission," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 632.04, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC), revised 16 Feb 2006.
  8. René Fahr & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Did the Hartz Reforms Speed-Up the Matching Process? A Macro-Evaluation Using Empirical Matching Functions," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10, pages 284-316, 08.
  9. Guillaume Haeringer & Myrna Wooders, 2011. "Decentralized job matching," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 1-28, February.
  10. Roth, Alvin E & Xing, Xiaolin, 1994. "Jumping the Gun: Imperfections and Institutions Related to the Timing of Market Transactions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 992-1044, September.
  11. Tayfun Sönmez & M. Utku Ünver, 2005. "Course Bidding at Business Schools," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 618, Boston College Department of Economics.
  12. Horstschräer, Julia & Sprietsma, Maresa, 2010. "The effects of the bologna process on college enrollment and drop-out rates," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-018, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  13. Roth, Alvin E & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1989. "The College Admissions Problem Revisited," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 559-70, May.
  14. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher Pissarides, 2000. "Looking into the black box: a survey of the matching function," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2122, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  15. Pissarides, Christopher A., 2010. "Equilibrium in the Labour Market with Search Frictions," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2010-9, Nobel Prize Committee.
  16. Roth, Alvin E, 1984. "The Evolution of the Labor Market for Medical Interns and Residents: A Case Study in Game Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 991-1016, December.
  17. 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.
  18. Roth, Alvin E & Vande Vate, John H, 1990. "Random Paths to Stability in Two-Sided Matching," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1475-80, November.
  19. Alcalde, Jose & Romero-Medina, Antonio, 2005. "Sequential decisions in the college admissions problem," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 153-158, February.
  20. 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.
  21. Kelso, Alexander S, Jr & Crawford, Vincent P, 1982. "Job Matching, Coalition Formation, and Gross Substitutes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1483-1504, November.
  22. Sebastian Braun & Nadja Dwenger & Dorothea Kübler, 2007. "Telling the Truth May Not Pay Off," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 759, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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