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Lotteries in student assignment: An equivalence result

Author

Listed:
  • Pathak, Parag A.

    () (Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Sethuraman, Jay

    () (Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Columbia University,)

Abstract

This paper formally examines two competing methods of conducting a lottery in assigning students to schools, motivated by the design of the centralized high school student assignment system in New York City. The main result of the paper is that a single and multiple lottery mechanism are equivalent for the problem of allocating students to schools in which students have strict preferences and the schools are indifferent. In proving this result, a new approach is introduced, that simplifies and unifies all the known equivalence results in the house allocation literature. Along the way, two new mechanisms---Partitioned Random Priority and Partitioned Random Endowment---are introduced for the house allocation problem. These mechanisms generalize widely studied mechanisms for the house allocation problem and may be appropriate for the many-to-one setting such as the school choice problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Pathak, Parag A. & Sethuraman, Jay, 2011. "Lotteries in student assignment: An equivalence result," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(1), January.
  • Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:816
    as

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    File URL: http://econtheory.org/ojs/index.php/te/article/viewFile/20110001/4777/165
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Atila Abdulkadiro─člu & 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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Matching; random assignment;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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