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Strategy-Proofness versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the NYC High School Match

  • Atila Abdulkadiroglu
  • Parag A. Pathak
  • Alvin E. Roth

The design of the New York City (NYC) high school match involved trade-offs among efficiency, stability, and strategy-proofness that raise new theoretical questions. We analyze a model with indifferences -- ties -- in school preferences. Simulations with field data and the theory favor breaking indifferences the same way at every school -- single tiebreaking -- in a student-proposing deferred acceptance mechanism. Any inefficiency associated with a realized tiebreaking cannot be removed without harming student incentives. Finally, we empirically document the extent of potential efficiency loss associated with strategy-proofness and stability, and direct attention to some open questions. (JEL C78, D82, I21)

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

Volume (Year): 99 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1954-78

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:5:p:1954-78
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.5.1954
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  1. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Yeon-Koo Che & Yosuke Yasuda, 2008. "Expanding "Choice" in School Choice," GRIPS Discussion Papers 08-17, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
  2. Sönmez, Tayfun & Pathak, Parag A. & Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Roth, Alvin, 2005. "The Boston Public School Match," Scholarly Articles 2562764, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  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. Kesten, Onur & Ünver, M. Utku, 2015. "A theory of school choice lotteries," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(2), May.
  5. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sönmez & M. Utku Ünver, 2004. "Kidney Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 457-488, May.
  6. Guillaume Haeringer & Flip Klijn, 2008. "Constrained School Choice," Working Papers 294, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  7. Alvin E. Roth, 2002. "The Economist as Engineer: Game Theory, Experimentation, and Computation as Tools for Design Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1341-1378, July.
  8. AlvinE. Roth, 2008. "What Have We Learned from Market Design?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(527), pages 285-310, 03.
  9. 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.
  10. Roth, Alvin E, 1984. "The Evolution of the Labor Market for Medical Interns and Residents: A Case Study in Game Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 991-1016, December.
  11. 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.
  12. Parag A. Pathak & Jay Sethuraman, 2010. "Lotteries in Student Assignment: An Equivalence Result," NBER Working Papers 16140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Parag Pathak & Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sonmez, 2006. "Changing the Boston School Choice Mechanism," NBER Working Papers 11965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sonmez & M. Utku Unver, 2004. "Pairwise Kidney Exchange," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000350, UCLA Department of Economics.
  15. Balinski, Michel & Sonmez, Tayfun, 1999. "A Tale of Two Mechanisms: Student Placement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 73-94, January.
  16. Caterina Calsamiglia & Guillaume Haeringer & Flip Klijn, 2008. "Constrained School Choice: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 365, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  17. Roth, Alvin E, 1991. "A Natural Experiment in the Organization of Entry-Level Labor Markets: Regional Markets for New Physicians and Surgeons in the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 415-40, June.
  18. Alvin E. Roth & Elliott Peranson, 1999. "The Redesign of the Matching Market for American Physicians: Some Engineering Aspects of Economic Design," NBER Working Papers 6963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. EHLERS, Lars, 2006. "Respecting Priorities when Assigning Students to Schools," Cahiers de recherche 2006-04, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  20. Roth, Alvin E., 1985. "The college admissions problem is not equivalent to the marriage problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 277-288, August.
  21. Parag A. Pathak & Tayfun Sönmez, 2011. "School Admissions Reform in Chicago and England: Comparing Mechanisms by Their Vulnerability to Manipulation," NBER Working Papers 16783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Sonmez, Tayfun, 1997. "Manipulation via Capacities in Two-Sided Matching Markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 197-204, November.
  23. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Sönmez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 729-747, June.
  24. Sonmez, Tayfun, 1999. "Can Pre-arranged Matches Be Avoided in Two-Sided Matching Markets?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 148-156, May.
  25. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu, 2005. "College admissions with affirmative action," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 535-549, November.
  26. Robert Day & Paul Milgrom, 2008. "Core-selecting package auctions," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 393-407, March.
  27. 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.
  28. Roth, Alvin E. & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1992. "Two-sided matching," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 485-541 Elsevier.
  29. 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.
  30. 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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