Telling the Truth May Not Pay Off: An Empirical Study of Centralised University Admissions in Germany

30 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2008

See all articles by Sebastian Braun

Sebastian Braun

Kiel Institute for the World Economy - IFW

Nadja Dwenger

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance

Dorothea Kübler

Social Science Research Center (WZB); Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) - Faculty of Economics and Management

Abstract

We investigate the matching algorithm used by the German central clearinghouse for university admissions (ZVS) in medicine and related subjects. This mechanism consists of three procedures based on final grades from school ("Abiturbestenverfahren", "Auswahlverfahren der Hochschulen") and on waiting time ("Wartezeitverfahren"). While these procedures differ in the criteria applied for admission they all make use of priority matching. In priority matching schemes, it is not a dominant strategy for students to submit their true preferences. Thus, strategic behaviour is expected. Using the full data set of applicants, we are able to detect some amount of strategic behaviour which can lead to inefficient matching. Alternative ways to organize the market are briefly discussed.

Keywords: matching, university admissions, strategic behaviour

JEL Classification: C78, D02, D78, I29

Suggested Citation

Braun, Sebastian Till and Dwenger, Nadja and Kübler, Dorothea F., Telling the Truth May Not Pay Off: An Empirical Study of Centralised University Admissions in Germany. IZA Discussion Paper No. 3261. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1294512 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Sebastian Till Braun (Contact Author)

Kiel Institute for the World Economy - IFW ( email )

United States

Nadja Dwenger

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance ( email )

10117
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.tax.mpg.de/en/pub/public_economics/public_economics_people/dwenger_nadja.cfm

Dorothea F. Kübler

Social Science Research Center (WZB) ( email )

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin, 10785
Germany
40 30 25491440 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wzb.eu/mp/vam/people/dorothea_kuebler.de.htm

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) - Faculty of Economics and Management ( email )

D-10623 Berlin
Germany
+49 30 31425263 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wiwi-experimente.tu-berlin.de/

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