Decentralized College Admissions
We study decentralized colleges admissions in the face of uncertain student preferences. Enrollment uncertainty causes colleges to strategically target their admissions, forgoing students sought after by others and seeking students overlooked by others. When students' types are multidimensional, colleges avoid head-on competition by placing excessive weights on less correlated dimensions. Restricting the number of applications or allowing for wait-listing alleviates enrollment uncertainty, but the resulting assignments of decentralized matching are inefficient and unfair. A centralized matching via Gale and Shapley's deferred acceptance algorithm attains efficiency and fairness, but some colleges can be worse off relative to decentralized matching.
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