High School Admission Reform in China: A Welfare Analysis
Posted: 28 Dec 2018
Date Written: November 29, 2018
In recent years, China has experienced a trend of changing from the Boston mechanism (BM) to the Chinese parallel mechanism for high school and college admissions. Using a unique data set from the high-school-assignment system in China that combines survey data eliciting students' school preferences with administrative data that cover students' school choices and admission records under both mechanisms, this paper compares the welfare performance of BM, the Chinese parallel mechanism, and the Deferred Acceptance (DA) mechanism. We find a non-monotonic relationship between the manipulability and efficiency of school choice mechanisms: DA yields significantly higher welfare than the Chinese parallel mechanism and BM, but BM yields higher welfare than Chinese parallel mechanism although not significantly. We also find that switching from BM to Chinese parallel mechanism hurts students regardless of their socioeconomic status. Students put schools they prefer more on all of their ranks under Chinese parallel mechanism than BM, and only students who are admitted by one of their first two choices benefit from the mechanism change.
Keywords: welfare; matching; Boston mechanism; Chinese parallel mechanism; Deferred Acceptance Mechanism, manipulation
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