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Strategy-proofness and stability of the Boston mechanism: An almost impossibility result

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  • Kumano, Taro
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    Abstract

    Public school systems generally use one of the three competing mechanisms – the Boston mechanism, the deferred acceptance mechanism and the top trading cycle mechanism – for assigning students to specific schools. Although the literature generally claims that the Boston mechanism is Pareto efficient but neither stable nor strategy-proof, this study delineates a subset of school priority structures for which it fulfills all three criteria. We show that the Boston mechanism is stable if and only if it is strategy-proof if and only if the priority structure is strongly acyclic. However, we find that the condition of strong acyclicity is nearly impossible to satisfy: any priority structure is quasi-cyclic whenever there are two schools whose admission quotas are less than the number of students seeking admission.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

    Volume (Year): 105 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 23-29

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:105:y:2013:i:c:p:23-29

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

    Related research

    Keywords: Boston mechanism; Stability; Strategy-proofness; Quasi-cyclicity; Strong acyclicity;

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    References

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    1. 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.
    2. John William Hatfield & Fuhito Kojima & Yusuke Narita, 2011. "Promoting School Competition Through School Choice: A Market Design Approach," Working Papers 2011-018, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    3. Caterina Calsamiglia & Guillaume Haeringer & Flip Klijn, 2008. "Constrained School Choice: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 365, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    4. Kojima, Fuhito, 2011. "Robust stability in matching markets," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(2), May.
    5. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Smez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," Discussion Papers 0203-18, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
    6. Fuhito Kojima & Mihai Manea, 2010. "Axioms for Deferred Acceptance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(2), pages 633-653, 03.
    7. Guillaume Haeringer & Flip Klijn, 2006. "Constrained School Choice," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 671.06, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC), revised 02 Dec 2008.
    8. Kesten, Onur, 2006. "On two competing mechanisms for priority-based allocation problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 155-171, March.
    9. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun S�nmez, 2005. "The Boston Public School Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 368-371, May.
    10. 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.
    11. Shapley, Lloyd & Scarf, Herbert, 1974. "On cores and indivisibility," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 23-37, March.
    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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