Seminars & Events

APL (Ajiken Power Lunch)

Assortative Matching and Complementarity in College Markets

APL (Ajiken Power Lunch) is a lunchtime workshop open to public, including IDE staffs, visiting research fellows, IDEAS students, outside researchers and graduate students. This workshop provides a platform for presentation of any work in progress where we can discuss in either English or Japanese.

Those who would attend a seminar are asked to announce yourself to receptionists on your arrival at the IDE and to obtain APL Organizers' signature on your admission card after the seminar.


August 3, 2017. (Thursday) 14:30-16:00


Assortative Matching and Complementarity in College Markets


This paper examines one type of assortative matching in college markets: students with high socioeconomic status (SES) are more likely to attend high quality colleges. Assortativity matters if SES and college quality are complementary educational inputs. I develop an econometric framework that provides tests for the existence and sign of this complementarity. I implement these tests by exploiting a 2000 reform of the national college admission exam in Colombia, which caused a market-wide reduction in assortative matching in some regions of the country. I find that the reform lowered average graduation rates and post-college earnings in affected regions, consistent with a positive complementarity between SES and college quality. I also find evidence of mismatch: part of these negative effects came from the low SES students who were shifted into higher quality colleges. However, both the market-wide and mismatch effects die out several cohorts after the exam reform, which suggests that complementarity may evolve with large-scale changes in assortativity.


Evan Riehl
(Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Cornell University)




Institute of Developing Economies, APL Organizers
E-mail: APLE-mail