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Strategy-proofness versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the New York City High School Match

  • Atila Abdulkadiroglu
  • Parag A. Pathak
  • Alvin E. Roth

The design of the New York City (NYC) High School match involved tradeoffs among efficiency, stability and strategy-proofness that raise new theoretical questions. We analyze a model with indifferences--ties--in school preferences. Simulations with field data and the theory favor breaking indifferences the same way at every school --single tie breaking-- in a student-proposing deferred acceptance mechanism. Any inefficiency associated with a realized tie breaking cannot be removed without harming student incentives. Finally, we empirically document the extent of potential efficiency loss associated with strategy-proofness and stability, and direct attention to some open questions.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14864.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Abdulkadiroğlu, Atila, Parag A. Pathak, and Alvin E. Roth. 2009. "Strategy-Proofness versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the NYC High School Match." American Economic Review, 99(5): 1954-78.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14864
Note: ED PE
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  1. Aytek Erdil & Haluk Ergin, 2007. "What`s the Matter with Tie-breaking? Improving Efficiency in School Choice," Economics Series Working Papers 349, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. AlvinE. Roth, 2008. "What Have We Learned from Market Design?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(527), pages 285-310, 03.
  3. Alvin E. Roth & Elliott Peranson, 1999. "The Redesign of the Matching Market for American Physicians: Some Engineering Aspects of Economic Design," NBER Working Papers 6963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. EHLERS, Lars, 2006. "Respecting Priorities when Assigning Students to Schools," Cahiers de recherche 2006-04, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  5. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sonmez & M. Utku Unver, 2004. "Pairwise Kidney Exchange," NBER Working Papers 10698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Guillaume Haeringer & Flip Klijn, 2006. "Constrained School Choice," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 671.06, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC), revised 02 Dec 2008.
  7. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sonmez & M. Utku Unver, 2003. "Kidney Exchange," Game Theory and Information 0308002, EconWPA.
  8. Balinski, Michel & Sonmez, Tayfun, 1999. "A Tale of Two Mechanisms: Student Placement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 73-94, January.
  9. Roth, Alvin E, 1991. "A Natural Experiment in the Organization of Entry-Level Labor Markets: Regional Markets for New Physicians and Surgeons in the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 415-40, June.
  10. Parag A. Pathak & Jay Sethuraman, 2010. "Lotteries in Student Assignment: An Equivalence Result," NBER Working Papers 16140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Roth, Alvin E., 1985. "The college admissions problem is not equivalent to the marriage problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 277-288, August.
  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 & Yeon-Koo Che & Yosuke Yasuda, 2008. "Expanding "Choice" in School Choice," GRIPS Discussion Papers 08-17, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
  14. Sonmez, Tayfun, 1997. "Manipulation via Capacities in Two-Sided Matching Markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 197-204, November.
  15. Onur Kesten & M. Utku Ünver, 2010. "A Theory of School-Choice Lotteries," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 737, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 29 Jun 2012.
  16. Roth,Alvin E. & Sotomayor,Marilda A. Oliveira, 1992. "Two-Sided Matching," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521437882, September.
  17. Pathak, Parag A. & Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Roth, Alvin, 2005. "The New York City High School Match," Scholarly Articles 2562765, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Sonmez, Tayfun, 1999. "Can Pre-arranged Matches Be Avoided in Two-Sided Matching Markets?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 148-156, May.
  19. Alvin E. Roth, 2002. "The Economist as Engineer: Game Theory, Experimentation, and Computation as Tools for Design Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1341-1378, July.
  20. Roth, Alvin E, 1984. "The Evolution of the Labor Market for Medical Interns and Residents: A Case Study in Game Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 991-1016, December.
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