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Resolving Conflicting Preferences in School Choice: The "Boston Mechanism" Reconsidered

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Author Info

  • Atila Abdulkadiroglu
  • Yeon-Koo Che
  • Yosuke Yasuda

Abstract

Despite its widespread use, the Boston mechanism has been criticized for its poor incentive and welfare performances compared to the Gale-Shapley deferred acceptance algorithm (DA). By contrast, when students have the same ordinal preferences and schools have no priorities, we find that the Boston mechanism Pareto dominates the DA in ex ante welfare, that it may not harm but rather benefit participants who may not strategize well, and that, in the presence of school priorities, the Boston mechanism also tends to facilitate greater access than the DA to good schools for those lacking priorities at those schools. (JEL D82, I21, I28)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.1.399
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 399-410

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:1:p:399-410

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  1. Parag A. Pathak & Tayfun Sonmez, 2008. "Leveling the Playing Field: Sincere and Sophisticated Players in the Boston Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1636-52, September.
  2. Aytek Erdil & Haluk Ergin, 2007. "What`s the Matter with Tie-breaking? Improving Efficiency in School Choice," Economics Series Working Papers 349, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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