Centralized Admission and the Student-College Match

53 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2016

See all articles by Cecilia Machado

Cecilia Machado

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV)

Christiane Szerman

Princeton University


Decentralized assignments in the education market have been increasingly replaced by centralized ones. However, empirical evidence on these transitions are scarce. This paper examines the adoption of centralized admissions in the Brazilian higher education market. Using rich administrative data, we exploit time variation in the adoption of a clearinghouse across institutions to investigate its impact on student sorting, migration and enrollment. We find that institutions under the centralized assignment are able to attract students with substantially higher test scores and that geographical mobility of admitted students increases. While there are no sizable effects on final enrollment rates, search is intensified. Overall, our findings indicate positive impacts of centralization on the college market.

Keywords: test scores, college admission, centralized matching, higher education, migration, enrollment

JEL Classification: D47, I23, I28

Suggested Citation

Machado, Cecilia and Szerman, Christiane, Centralized Admission and the Student-College Match. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10251, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2849736 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2849736

Cecilia Machado (Contact Author)

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) ( email )

R. Dr. Neto de Araujo 320 cj 1307
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22250-900

Christiane Szerman

Princeton University ( email )

Department of Economics
Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States

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