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Comparing school choice mechanisms by interim and ex-ante welfare

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  • Troyan, Peter

Abstract

Recent work has highlighted welfare gains from the use of the Boston mechanism over deferred acceptance (DA) in school choice problems, in particular finding that when cardinal utility is taken into account, Boston interim Pareto dominates DA in certain incomplete information environments with no school priorities. We show that these previous interim results are not robust to the introduction of (weak) priorities. However, we partially restore the earlier results by showing that from an ex-ante utility perspective, the Boston mechanism Pareto dominates any strategyproof mechanism (including DA), even allowing for arbitrary priority structures. Thus, we suggest ex-ante Pareto dominance as a relevant criterion by which to compare school choice mechanisms. This criterion may be of particular interest to school districts, as they can be thought of as social planners whose goal is to maximize the overall ex-ante welfare of the students.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 936-947

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:75:y:2012:i:2:p:936-947

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

Related research

Keywords: Boston mechanism; Gale–Shapley; Deferred acceptance; Ex-ante welfare; Strategyproof; School choice;

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  1. Joana Pais & Agnes Pinter, 2007. "School Choice and Information. An Experimental Study on Matching Mechanisms," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 018, University of Siena.
  2. 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.
  3. Clayton Featherstone & Muriel Niederle, 2008. "Ex Ante Efficiency in School Choice Mechanisms: An Experimental Investigation," NBER Working Papers 14618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Sönmez, Tayfun & Pathak, Parag A. & Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Roth, Alvin, 2005. "The Boston Public School Match," Scholarly Articles 2562764, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Aytek Erdil & Haluk Ergin, 2008. "What's the Matter with Tie-Breaking? Improving Efficiency in School Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 669-89, June.
  6. Haluk Ergin & Tayfun Sönmez, 2005. "Games of School Choice under the Boston Mechanism," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 619, Boston College Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. Fuhito Kojima & M. Utku Ünver, 2010. "The 'Boston' School-Choice Mechanism," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 729, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 08 Oct 2010.
  9. 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.
  10. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth, 2009. "Strategy-Proofness versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the NYC High School Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1954-78, December.
  11. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Sönmez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 729-747, June.
  12. Haluk I. Ergin, 2002. "Efficient Resource Allocation on the Basis of Priorities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2489-2497, November.
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