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Chinese college admissions and school choice reforms: An experimental study

Yan Chen and Onur Kesten

Games and Economic Behavior, 2019, vol. 115, issue C, 83-100

Abstract: Since 2001, many Chinese provinces have transitioned from a “sequential” to a “parallel” school choice or college admissions mechanism. Inspired by this natural experiment, we evaluate the sequential (immediate acceptance, IA), parallel (PA), and deferred acceptance (DA) mechanisms in the laboratory. We find that participants are most likely to reveal their preferences truthfully under DA, followed by PA and then DA. While stability comparisons also follow the same order, efficiency comparisons vary across environments. Regardless of the metrics, the performance of PA is robustly sandwiched between IA and DA. Furthermore, 53% of our subjects adopt an insurance strategy under PA, making them at least as well off as what they could guarantee themselves under IA. These results help explain the recent reforms in Chinese school choice and college admissions.

Keywords: College admissions; School choice; Immediate acceptance mechanism; Parallel mechanism; Deferred acceptance; Experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C78 C92 D47 D82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:115:y:2019:i:c:p:83-100

DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2019.02.003

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