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Minimizing Justified Envy in School Choice: The Design of New Orleans' OneApp

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Listed:
  • Atila Abdulkadiroglu
  • Yeon-Koo Che
  • Parag A. Pathak
  • Alvin E. Roth
  • Olivier Tercieux

Abstract

In 2012, New Orleans Recovery School District (RSD) became the first U.S. district to unify charter and traditional public school admissions in a single-offer assignment mechanism known as OneApp. The RSD also became the first district to use a mechanism based on Top Trading Cycles (TTC) in a real-life allocation problem. Since TTC was originally devised for settings in which agents have endowments, there is no formal rationale for TTC in school choice. In particular, TTC is a Pareto efficient and strategy-proof mechanism, but so are other mechanisms. We show that TTC is constrained-optimal in the following sense: TTC minimizes justified envy among all Pareto efficient and strategy-proof mechanisms when each school has one seat. When schools have more than one seat, there are multiple possible implementations of TTC. Data from New Orleans and Boston indicate that there is little difference across these versions of TTC, but significantly less justified envy compared to a serial dictatorship.

Suggested Citation

  • Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Yeon-Koo Che & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth & Olivier Tercieux, 2017. "Minimizing Justified Envy in School Choice: The Design of New Orleans' OneApp," NBER Working Papers 23265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23265
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sönmez & M. Utku Ünver, 2004. "Kidney Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 457-488.
    2. Parag A. Pathak, 2011. "The Mechanism Design Approach to Student Assignment," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 513-536, September.
    3. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Sonmez, 1998. "Random Serial Dictatorship and the Core from Random Endowments in House Allocation Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 689-702, May.
    4. Alcalde, Jose & Barbera, Salvador, 1994. "Top Dominance and the Possibility of Strategy-Proof Stable Solutions to Matching Problems," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(3), pages 417-435, May.
    5. Umut M. Dur & Scott Duke Kominers & Parag A. Pathak & Tayfun Sönmez, 2013. "The Demise of Walk Zones in Boston: Priorities vs. Precedence in School Choice," NBER Working Papers 18981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:eecrev:v:101:y:2018:i:c:p:505-511 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Duddy, Conal, 2017. "The structure of priority in the school choice problem," MPRA Paper 81057, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D47 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Market Design
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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