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Games of School Choice under the Boston Mechanism

Author

Listed:
  • Haluk Ergin

    (MIT)

  • Tayfun Sönmez

    () (Boston College)

Abstract

Many school districts in the U.S. use a student assignment mechanism that we refer to as the Boston mechanism. Under this mechanism a student loses his priority at a school unless his parents rank it as their first choice. Therefore parents are given incentives to rank high on their list the schools where the student has a good chance of getting in. We characterize the Nash equilibria of the induced preference revelation game. An important policy implication of our result is that a transition from the Boston mechanism to the student-optimal stable mechanism would lead to unambiguous efficiency gains.

Suggested Citation

  • Haluk Ergin & Tayfun Sönmez, 2005. "Games of School Choice under the Boston Mechanism," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 619, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:619
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    student assignment; Boston mechanism; induced preference revelation; mechanism design;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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