College Assignment as a Large Contest

Aaron Bodoh-Creed, Brent Richard Hickman
2016 Social Science Research Network  
We develop a model of college assignment as a large contest wherein students with heterogeneous abilities compete for seats at vertically differentiated colleges through the acquisition of productive human capital. We use a continuum model to approximate the outcomes of a game with large, but finite, sets of colleges and students. By incorporating two common forms of affirmative action in our model, admissions preferences and quotas, we can show that (legal) admissions preference schemes and
more » ... ence schemes and (illegal) quotas are outcome equivalent. We assess the welfare costs of using human capital accumulation to compete for college admissions. While competition is necessary for (welfare enhancing) assortative match, the welfare losses from the accumulation of human capital solely to compete for a better college seat are also significant.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.2883307 fatcat:jm7h64mmofgr5noptt356b3nyy