Centralized College Admissions and Student Composition
62 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2016 Last revised: 30 Sep 2021
Date Written: September 1, 2017
Education markets are increasingly switching to centralized admission systems. However, empirical evidence of the effects of these transitions is scarce. We examine the consequences of introducing centralized admissions in the higher education market in Brazil. Using detailed administrative data, we exploit the staggered adoption of a centralized clearinghouse across institutions to investigate the impacts on student composition. Consistent with lower application frictions and higher competition, we find that centralization is associated with a decline in the share of female students and an increase in the average age of students. We also document that institutions under the centralized assignment attract students from other locations and with higher test scores. We present suggestive evidence that centralization increases stratification of institutions by quality, widening the gap between low and high quality institutions.
Keywords: higher education, centralized matching, application frictions, college admission, student composition, migration, test scores, sorting
JEL Classification: D47, I23, I28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation