This is the fourth year that ZEW has supported the student competition as a scientific partner. For the past three years in a row, the institute was able to help one of its teams win the competition – and in 2020 the students mentored by ZEW were once again among the leading contenders: The student group from the Albertus-Magnus-Gymnasium in Stuttgart was able to convince the panel of experts with their concept entitled “Kitafix – Matching daycare places and children more effectively through an innovative ranking system” and win the second place at the grand finale.
Great Potential for Practical Application
In many cities, parents, childcare facilities and municipal administrations encounter considerable difficulties when it comes to the allocation of daycare places. Against this background, it was the aim of the high school students to use their ranking system not only to simplify this process, but also to minimise the number of unfilled daycare places. To this end, the student team developed a system based on the Gale-Shapley algorithm with the help of Dr. Nicolas Fugger and Tobias Riehm from the ZEW Research Group “Market Design”. Professor Anne Bamford, Strategic Education and Skills Director for the City of London, Dr. Christian van Stolk, vice-president of RAND Europe, and Clemens Weegmann, deputy chair of the Baden-Württemberg representation of the German childcare association “Deutscher Kitaverband”, joined the discussion and agreed that the students’ concept offers great potential for practical application.
This year, the first place went to the student team of the Martin-Andersen-Nexö-Gymnasium in Dresden, who were mentored by the Dresden-based branch of the ifo Institute – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at LMU Munich. Based on this year’s experiences, the researchers at ZEW Mannheim are looking forward to participating in the YES! competition again in 2021.