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A Theory of School-Choice Lotteries

  • Onur Kesten

    ()

    (Carnegie Mellon University)

  • M. Utku Ünver

    (Boston College)

A new centralized mechanism was introduced in New York City and Boston to assign students to public schools in district school-choice programs. This mechanism was advocated for its superior fairness property, besides others, over the mechanisms it replaced. In this paper, we introduce a new framework for investigating school-choice matching problems and two ex-ante notions of fairness in lottery design, strong ex-ante stability and ex-ante stability. This frame- work generalizes known one-to-many two-sided and one-sided matching models. We first show that the new NYC/Boston mechanism fails to satisfy these fairness properties. We then propose two new mechanisms, the fractional deferred-acceptance mechanism, which is ordinally Pareto dominant within the class of strongly ex-ante stable mechanisms, and the fractional deferred- acceptance and trading mechanism, which satisfies equal treatment of equals and constrained ordinal Pareto efficiency within the class of ex-ante stable mechanisms.

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Paper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 737.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2010
Date of revision: 29 Jun 2012
Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:737
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  14. Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Pathak, Parag Abishek & Roth, Alvin E., 2009. "Strategy-Proofness Versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the NYC High School Match," Scholarly Articles 11077572, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  16. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Yeon-Koo Che & Yosuke Yasuda, 2010. "Expanding 'Choice' in School Choice," Working Papers 10-23, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  17. 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.
  18. Yan Chen & Tayfun Sönmez, 2004. "School Choice: An Experimental Study," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 622, Boston College Department of Economics.
  19. 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.
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  25. Hylland, Aanund & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1979. "The Efficient Allocation of Individuals to Positions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 293-314, April.
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  28. Katta, Akshay-Kumar & Sethuraman, Jay, 2006. "A solution to the random assignment problem on the full preference domain," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 131(1), pages 231-250, November.
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