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published in: Quantitative Economics

College Choice and the Selection of Mechanisms: A Structural Empirical Analysis

We use rich microeconomic data on performance and choices of students at college entry to study the interaction between the revelation of college preferences through exams and the selection of allocation mechanisms. We propose a method in which preferences and expectations of students are identified from data on choices and multiple exam grades. Counterfactuals we consider balance costs arising from congestion and exam organization. Moving to deferred acceptance or inverting the timing of choices and exams are shown to increase welfare. Redistribution among students or schools is sizeable in all counterfactual experiments.

23. February 2016

Authors J.-R. Carvalho T. Magnac Qizhou Xiong

Suggested Reading

College Choice, Selection, and Allocation Mechanisms: A Structural Empirical Analysis

J.-R. Carvalho T. Magnac Qizhou Xiong

in: Quantitative Economics, No. 3, 2019

Abstract

We use rich microeconomic data on performance and choices of students at college entry to analyze interactions between the selection mechanism, eliciting college preferences through exams, and the allocation mechanism. We set up a framework in which success probabilities and student preferences are shown to be identified from data on their choices and their exam grades under exclusion restrictions and support conditions. The counterfactuals we consider balance the severity of congestion and the quality of the match between schools and students. Moving to deferred acceptance or inverting the timing of choices and exams are shown to increase welfare. Redistribution among students and among schools is also sizeable in all counterfactual experiments.

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