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Respecting priorities versus respecting preferences in school choice: When is there a trade-off ?

Author

Listed:
  • Estelle Cantillon
  • Li Chen
  • Juan Sebastian Pereyra Barreiro

Abstract

A classic trade-off that school districts face when deciding which matching algorithm to use is that it is not possible to always respect both priorities and preferences. The student-proposing deferred acceptance algorithm (DA) respects priorities but can lead to inefficient allocations. The top trading cycle algorithm (TTC) respects preferences but may violate priorities. We identify a new condition on school choice markets under which DA is efficient and there is a unique allocation that respects priorities. Our condition generalizes earlier conditions by placing restrictions on how preferences and priorities relate to one another only on the parts that are relevant for the assignment. We discuss how our condition sheds light on existing empirical findings. We show through simulations that our condition significantly expands the range of known environments for which DA is efficient.

Suggested Citation

  • Estelle Cantillon & Li Chen & Juan Sebastian Pereyra Barreiro, 2022. "Respecting priorities versus respecting preferences in school choice: When is there a trade-off ?," Working Papers ECARES 2022-39, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/352301
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Matching; envyfreeness; efficiency; priorities; preferences; matching algorithms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D47 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Market Design
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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