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What's the Matter with Tie-Breaking? Improving Efficiency in School Choice

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  • Aytek Erdil
  • Haluk Ergin

Abstract

In several school choice districts in the United States, the student proposing deferred acceptance algorithm is applied after indifferences in priority orders are broken in some exogenous way. Although such a tie-breaking procedure preserves stability, it adversely affects the welfare of the students since it introduces artificial stability constraints. Our main finding is a polynomial-time algorithm for the computation of a student-optimal stable matching when priorities are weak. The idea behind our construction relies on a new notion which we call a stable improvement cycle. We also investigate the strategic properties of the student-optimal stable mechanism.

Suggested Citation

  • 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 669-689, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:3:p:669-89
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.3.669
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. EHLERS, Lars, 2006. "Respecting Priorities when Assigning Students to Schools," Cahiers de recherche 04-2006, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    5. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sönmez, 2006. "Changing the Boston School Choice Mechanism," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001022, UCLA Department of Economics.
    6. Roth,Alvin E. & Sotomayor,Marilda A. Oliveira, 1992. "Two-Sided Matching," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521437882, May.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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