IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp9118.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Performance of School Assignment Mechanisms in Practice

Author

Listed:
  • de Haan, Monique

    (University of Oslo)

  • Gautier, Pieter A.

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Oosterbeek, Hessel

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • van der Klaauw, Bas

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Abstract

Theory points to a potential trade-off between two main school assignment mechanisms; Boston and Deferred Acceptance (DA). While DA is strategy-proof and gives a stable matching, Boston might outperform DA in terms of ex-ante efficiency. We quantify the (dis)advantages of the mechanisms by using information about actual choices under Boston complemented with survey data eliciting students' school preferences. We find that under Boston around 8% of the students apply to another school than their most-preferred school. We compare allocations resulting from Boston with DA with single tie-breaking (one central lottery; DA-STB) and multiple tie-breaking (separate lottery per school; DA-MTB). DA-STB places more students in their top-n schools, for any n, than Boston and results in higher average welfare. We find a trade-off between DA-STB and DA-MTB. DA-STB places more students in their single most-preferred school than DA-MTB, but fewer in their top-n, for n ? 2. Finally, students from disadvantaged backgrounds benefit most from a switch from Boston to any of the DA mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

  • de Haan, Monique & Gautier, Pieter A. & Oosterbeek, Hessel & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2015. "The Performance of School Assignment Mechanisms in Practice," IZA Discussion Papers 9118, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9118
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://docs.iza.org/dp9118.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Atila Abdulkadiro?lu & Yeon-Koo Che & Yosuke Yasuda, 2015. "Expanding "Choice" in School Choice," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 1-42, February.
    2. Caterina Calsamiglia & Guillaume Haeringer & Flip Klijn, 2010. "Constrained School Choice: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1860-1874, September.
    3. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth, 2009. "Strategy-proofness versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the New York City High School Match," NBER Working Papers 14864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Chen, Yan & Sonmez, Tayfun, 2006. "School choice: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 202-231, March.
    5. Caterina Calsamiglia & Chao Fu & Maia Güell, 2014. "Structural Estimation of a Model of School Choices: the Boston Mechanism vs. Its Alternatives," Working Papers 811, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    6. Fuhito Kojima & Mihai Manea, 2010. "Axioms for Deferred Acceptance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(2), pages 633-653, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Aytek Erdil & Haluk Ergin, 2008. "What's the Matter with Tie-Breaking? Improving Efficiency in School Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 669-689, June.
    9. Alvin Roth, 2008. "Deferred acceptance algorithms: history, theory, practice, and open questions," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 36(3), pages 537-569, March.
    10. He, Yinghua, 2012. "Gaming the Boston School Choice Mechanism in Beijing," TSE Working Papers 12-345, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    11. Yeon-Koo Che & Fuhito Kojima, 2010. "Asymptotic Equivalence of Probabilistic Serial and Random Priority Mechanisms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(5), pages 1625-1672, September.
    12. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Sönmez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 729-747, June.
    13. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth, 2009. "Strategy-Proofness versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the NYC High School Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1954-1978, December.
    14. Nikhil Agarwal & Paulo Somaini, 2018. "Demand Analysis Using Strategic Reports: An Application to a School Choice Mechanism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 86(2), pages 391-444, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ran I. Shorrer & Sandor Sovago, 2017. "Obvious Mistakes in a Strategically Simple College Admissions Environment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-107/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Joshua D. Angrist & Yusuke Narita & Parag A. Pathak, 2017. "Research Design Meets Market Design: Using Centralized Assignment for Impact Evaluation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 1373-1432, September.
    3. Li, Mengling, 2020. "Ties matter: Improving efficiency in course allocation by allowing ties," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 354-384.
    4. Christian Haas, 2021. "Two-Sided Matching with Indifferences: Using Heuristics to Improve Properties of Stable Matchings," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 57(4), pages 1115-1148, April.
    5. Hoyer, B. & Stroh-Maraun, N., 2020. "Matching strategies of heterogeneous agents under incomplete information in a university clearinghouse," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 453-481.
    6. Gabrielle Fack & Julien Grenet & Yinghua He, 2019. "Beyond Truth-Telling: Preference Estimation with Centralized School Choice and College Admissions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(4), pages 1486-1529, April.
    7. André Veski & Péter Biró & Kaire Põder & Triin Lauri, 2017. "Efficiency and fair access in Kindergarten allocation policy design," The Journal of Mechanism and Institution Design, Society for the Promotion of Mechanism and Institution Design, University of York, vol. 2(1), pages 57-104, December.
    8. Artemov, Georgy, 2021. "Assignment mechanisms: Common preferences and information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    9. Nirav Mehta, 2017. "Competition In Public School Districts: Charter School Entry, Student Sorting, And School Input Determination," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 58(4), pages 1089-1116, November.
    10. Adam J. Kapor & Christopher A. Neilson & Seth D. Zimmerman, 2020. "Heterogeneous Beliefs and School Choice Mechanisms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(5), pages 1274-1315, May.
    11. Tong Wang & Congyi Zhou, 2020. "High school admission reform in China: a welfare analysis," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 24(3), pages 215-269, December.
    12. Chen, Yan & He, YingHua, 2021. "Information acquisition and provision in school choice: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 197(C).
    13. Fack, Gabrielle & Grenet, Julien & He, Yinghua, 2015. "Beyond Truth-Telling: Preference Estimation with Centralized School Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 10907, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Basteck, Christian & Mantovani, Marco, 2021. "Aiding applicants: Leveling the playing field within the immediate acceptance mechanism," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2021-203, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    15. Erdil, Aytek & Ergin, Haluk, 2017. "Two-sided matching with indifferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 268-292.
    16. Britta Hoyer & Nadja Stroh-Maraun, 2017. "Matching Strategies of Heterogeneous Agents under Incomplete Information in a University Clearinghouse," Working Papers CIE 110, Paderborn University, CIE Center for International Economics.
    17. Ashlagi, Itai & Nikzad, Afshin, 2020. "What matters in school choice tie-breaking? How competition guides design," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 190(C).
    18. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-01215998 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Hatfield, John William & Kojima, Fuhito & Narita, Yusuke, 2016. "Improving schools through school choice: A market design approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 186-211.
    20. Ashlagi, Itai & Nikzad, Afshin & Romm, Assaf, 2019. "Assigning more students to their top choices: A comparison of tie-breaking rules," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 167-187.
    21. Inácio Bó & C.-Philipp Heller, 2017. "Strategic schools under the Boston mechanism revisited," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 48(3), pages 545-572, March.
    22. Christopher Neilson & Mohammad Akbarpour & Adam Kapor & Winnie van Dijk & Seth Zimmerman, 2020. "Centralized School Choice with Unequal Outside Options," Working Papers 644, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Harless, Patrick, 2014. "A School Choice Compromise: Between Immediate and Deferred Acceptance," MPRA Paper 61417, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Fuhito Kojima & M. Ünver, 2014. "The “Boston” school-choice mechanism: an axiomatic approach," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(3), pages 515-544, April.
    3. Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Andersson, Tommy, 2022. "School Choice," Working Papers 2022:4, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    4. Hoyer, B. & Stroh-Maraun, N., 2020. "Matching strategies of heterogeneous agents under incomplete information in a university clearinghouse," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 453-481.
    5. Ashlagi, Itai & Nikzad, Afshin & Romm, Assaf, 2019. "Assigning more students to their top choices: A comparison of tie-breaking rules," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 167-187.
    6. Hatfield, John William & Kojima, Fuhito & Narita, Yusuke, 2016. "Improving schools through school choice: A market design approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 186-211.
    7. Nikhil Agarwal & Paulo Somaini, 2018. "Demand Analysis Using Strategic Reports: An Application to a School Choice Mechanism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 86(2), pages 391-444, March.
    8. Li, Mengling, 2020. "Ties matter: Improving efficiency in course allocation by allowing ties," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 354-384.
    9. Dur, Umut & Hammond, Robert G. & Kesten, Onur, 2021. "Sequential school choice: Theory and evidence from the field and lab," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    10. Tong Wang & Congyi Zhou, 2020. "High school admission reform in China: a welfare analysis," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 24(3), pages 215-269, December.
    11. Kojima, Fuhito, 2013. "Efficient resource allocation under multi-unit demand," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 1-14.
    12. Troyan, Peter, 2012. "Comparing school choice mechanisms by interim and ex-ante welfare," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 936-947.
    13. Kesten, Onur & Ünver, M. Utku, 2015. "A theory of school choice lotteries," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(2), May.
    14. Caterina Calsamiglia & Francisco Martínez-Mora & Antonio Miralles, 2021. "School Choice Design, Risk Aversion and Cardinal Segregation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 131(635), pages 1081-1104.
    15. Ha, Wei & Kang, Le & Song, Yang, 2020. "College matching mechanisms and matching stability: Evidence from a natural experiment in China," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 206-226.
    16. Ding, Tingting & Schotter, Andrew, 2017. "Matching and chatting: An experimental study of the impact of network communication on school-matching mechanisms," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 94-115.
    17. Kesten, Onur & Kurino, Morimitsu, 2019. "Strategy-proof improvements upon deferred acceptance: A maximal domain for possibility," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 120-143.
    18. Yajing Chen & Patrick Harless & Zhenhua Jiao, 2021. "The probabilistic rank random assignment rule and its axiomatic characterization," Papers 2104.09165, arXiv.org.
    19. 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.
    20. Featherstone, Clayton R. & Niederle, Muriel, 2016. "Boston versus deferred acceptance in an interim setting: An experimental investigation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 353-375.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    school choice; Boston mechanism; deferred acceptance mechanism; strategic behavior; ex-ante efficiency; ex-post efficiency;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • D47 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Market Design
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9118. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.