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On two kinds of manipulation for school choice problems

  • Onur Kesten

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    Many school districts in the US. employ centralized clearing houses to assign students to public schools. An important potential threat against any school choice mechanism is the tendency of schools to circumvent the procedure via two kinds of strategic manipulation: manipulation via capacities and manipulation via pre-arranged matches. This paper studies the extent of the vulnerability of three prominent school choice mechanisms that have been adopted (or, considered for adoption) by some school districts in the US. We find that the highly debated Boston mechanism as well as the top trading cycles mechanism are immune to manipulation via capacities, unlike the student-optimal stable mechanism (SOSM). We show that SOSM is immune to manipulation via capacities if and only if the priority structure satisfies an acyclicity condition proposed by Ergin (Econometrica 70:2489–2497, 2002 ). On the other hand, we show that essentially no mechanism is immune to manipulation via pre-arranged matches. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2012

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00199-011-0618-6
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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

    Volume (Year): 51 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 (November)
    Pages: 677-693

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:51:y:2012:i:3:p:677-693
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    1. Onur Kesten, 2010. "School Choice with Consent," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1297-1348, August.
    2. 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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    4. Haluk I. Ergin, 2002. "Efficient Resource Allocation on the Basis of Priorities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2489-2497, November.
    5. Ma, Jinpeng, 1996. "On Randomized Matching Mechanisms," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 377-81, August.
    6. 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.
    7. Balinski, Michel & Sonmez, Tayfun, 1999. "A Tale of Two Mechanisms: Student Placement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 73-94, January.
    8. 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.
    9. Parag A. Pathak & Tayfun Sönmez, 2013. "School Admissions Reform in Chicago and England: Comparing Mechanisms by Their Vulnerability to Manipulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 80-106, February.
    10. 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.
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    14. Kojima Fuhito, 2007. "When Can Manipulations be Avoided in Two-Sided Matching Markets? -- Maximal Domain Results," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-18, September.
    15. 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.
    16. Ehlers, Lars & Klaus, Bettina & Papai, Szilvia, 2002. "Strategy-proofness and population-monotonicity for house allocation problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 329-339, November.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    19. Kesten, Onur, 2006. "On two competing mechanisms for priority-based allocation problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 155-171, March.
    20. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Sönmez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 729-747, June.
    21. 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.
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