Year of publication
Economics of Education Review
This paper provides empirical evidence on how China’s transition from the Boston mechanism to the Chinese parallel mechanism (a simplified version of the Deferred Acceptance mechanism), along with changes to the information available to students on their entrance exam performance when they submit their college preferences, affect the academic match between colleges and students. Using data on students admitted to Chinese colleges from 2005 to 2011, we characterize the general patterns of mismatch between colleges and students based on students’ scores on China’s National College Entrance Exam and find evidence of substantial overmatch and undermatch. Results from a generalized difference-in-differences model indicate that switching from the Boston mechanism to the Chinese parallel mechanism lowered the probability of mismatch by approximately 6%. Allowing students to submit their college preferences after learning their exam scores rather than before the exam reduced the probability of mismatch by 18%.