Undergraduate Course Allocation through Pseudo-Markets

35 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2021

See all articles by Daniel Kornbluth

Daniel Kornbluth

Carnegie Mellon University

Alexey Kushnir

Carnegie Mellon University - David A. Tepper School of Business

Date Written: June 8, 2021

Abstract

We consider a many-to-many matching problem with a priority structure such as the one in undergraduate course allocation. In order to incorporate course priorities, we develop a deterministic pseudo-market mechanism with priority-specific prices that is based on the approximate competitive equilibrium from equal incomes. This novel mechanism, the Pseudo-Market with Priorities mechanism, prevents justified course envy, prevents Pareto improvements among students respecting the priority structure, is strategy-proof in the large, bounds envy by a single course among students at the same level of priority, and maintains a small upper bound on the market-clearing error. In a simulated environment, we show that this mechanism increases student utility and outcome fairness when compared to the commonly used in practice Random Serial Dictatorship.

Keywords: market design, matching, many-to-many assignment, deterministic assignment, course allocation, competitive equilibrium

JEL Classification: D47, D63, D82, C63, C78, I21

Suggested Citation

Kornbluth, Daniel and Kushnir, Alexey I., Undergraduate Course Allocation through Pseudo-Markets (June 8, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3901146 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3901146

Daniel Kornbluth

Carnegie Mellon University ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Alexey I. Kushnir (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University - David A. Tepper School of Business ( email )

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

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