Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date


JEL Codes

C78, D61, I23, I28.

Working Paper Number



Matching mechanisms play a crucial role in the college admissions process, which in turn influence education and labor market outcomes. We exploit geographical and temporal variations in the Chinese college admissions reform to provide new empirical evidence on how matching mechanisms affect matching quality. Consistent with theoretical findings by Chen and Kesten (2017), we show that switching from the Immediate Acceptance (IA) mechanism to the Chinese parallel mechanism, a hybrid of IA and the Deferred Acceptance mechanism, improved matching stability, proxied by the level of stratification precision. This effect is stronger for provinces with wider first parallel choice band and intensifies over time.

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