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School Admissions Reform in Chicago and England: Comparing Mechanisms by Their Vulnerability to Manipulation

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  • Parag A. Pathak
  • Tayfun Sönmez

Abstract

In Fall 2009, Chicago authorities abandoned a school assignment mechanism midstream, citing concerns about its vulnerability to manipulation. Nonetheless, they asked thousands of applicants to re-rank schools in a new mechanism that is also manipulable. This paper introduces a method to compare mechanisms by their vulnerability to manipulation. Our methodology formalizes how the old mechanism is at least as manipulable as any other plausible mechanism, including the new one. A number of similar transitions took place in England after the widely popular Boston mechanism was ruled illegal in 2007. Our approach provides support for these and other recent policy changes. (JEL C78, D82, H75, I21, I28)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.103.1.80
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/feb2013/20110139_app.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 103 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 80-106

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:1:p:80-106

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.1.80
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References

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  1. Andersson, Tommy & Svensson, Lars-Gunnar & Ehlers, Lars, 2010. "Budget-Balance, Fairness and Minimal Manipulability," Working Papers 2010:16, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 15 Jan 2013.
  2. Ergin, Haluk & Sonmez, Tayfun, 2006. "Games of school choice under the Boston mechanism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 215-237, January.
  3. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Yeon-Koo Che & Yosuke Yasuda, 2011. "Resolving Conflicting Preferences in School Choice: The "Boston Mechanism" Reconsidered," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 399-410, February.
  4. Guillaume Haeringer & Caterina Calsamiglia & Flip Klijn, 2009. "Constrained School Choice: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 2009.29, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Sönmez, Tayfun & Pathak, Parag A. & Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Roth, Alvin, 2005. "The Boston Public School Match," Scholarly Articles 2562764, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth, 2005. "The New York City High School Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 364-367, May.
  7. 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.
  8. Yan Chen & Tayfun Sönmez, 2004. "School Choice: An Experimental Study," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 622, Boston College Department of Economics.
  9. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth, 2009. "Strategy-proofness versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the New York City High School Match," NBER Working Papers 14864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Guillaume Haeringer & Flip Klijn, 2008. "Constrained School Choice," Working Papers 294, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  11. Balinski, Michel & Sonmez, Tayfun, 1999. "A Tale of Two Mechanisms: Student Placement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 73-94, January.
  12. Rebecca Allen & Simon Burgess & Leigh McKenna, 2010. "The early impact of Brighton and Hove's school admission reforms," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 10/244, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  13. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Smez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," Discussion Papers 0203-18, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  14. Salvador Barberà, 2010. "Strategy-proof social choice," Working Papers 420, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  15. Fuhito Kojima & Parag A. Pathak, 2009. "Incentives and Stability in Large Two-Sided Matching Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 608-27, June.
  16. Sonmez, Tayfun, 1997. "Manipulation via Capacities in Two-Sided Matching Markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 197-204, November.
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