English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: Changing the Boston School Choice Mechanism Tayfun Sonmez; Atila Abdulkadiroglu; Parag A. Pathak; ...

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Bookmark: http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/73191
Physical Description
  • preprint
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Changing the Boston School Choice Mechanism
Author
  • Tayfun Sonmez
  • Atila Abdulkadiroglu
  • Parag A. Pathak
  • Alvin E. Roth
  • Tayfun Sönmez
Physical Description
  • preprint
Notes
  • RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11965
  • In July 2005 the Boston School Committee voted to replace the existing Boston school choice mechanism with a deferred acceptance mechanism that simplifies the strategic choices facing parents. This paper presents the empirical case against the previous Boston mechanism, a priority matching mechanism, and the case in favor of the change to a strategy-proof mechanism. Using detailed records on student choices and assignments, we present evidence both of sophisticated strategic behavior among some parents, and of unsophisticated strategic behavior by others. We find evidence that some parents pay close attention to the capacity constraints of different schools, while others appear not to. In particular, we show that many unassigned students could have been assigned to one of their stated choices with a different strategy under the current mechanism. This interaction between sophisticated and unsophisticated players identifies a new rationale for strategy-proof mechanisms based on fairness, and was a critical argument in Boston's decision to change the mechanism. We then discuss the considerations that led to the adoption of a deferred acceptance mechanism as opposed to the (also strategy-proof) top trading cycles mechanism.
  • RePEc:boc:bocoec:639
  • RePEc:cla:levrem:122247000000001022
Language
  • English
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