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The structure of priority in the school choice problem

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  • Duddy, Conal

Abstract

In a school choice problem each school has a priority ordering over the set of students. These priority orderings depend on criteria such as whether a student lives within walking distance or has a sibling already at the school. I argue that by including just the priority orderings in the problem, and not the criteria themselves, we lose important information. More particularly, the priority orderings fail to capture important aspects of the information from which they are derived when a student may satisfy a given criterion across multiple schools. This loss of information results in mechanisms that discriminate between students in ways that are not easy to justify. I propose an extended formulation of the school choice problem wherein a “priority matrix”, indicating which criteria are satisfied by each student-school pair, replaces the usual profile of priority orderings.

Suggested Citation

  • Duddy, Conal, 2017. "The structure of priority in the school choice problem," MPRA Paper 81057, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:81057
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/81204/8/MPRA_paper_81204.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    2. Kominers, Scott Duke & Sönmez, Tayfun, 2016. "Matching with slot-specific priorities: theory," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(2), May.
    3. 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.
    4. Ehlers, Lars & Hafalir, Isa E. & Yenmez, M. Bumin & Yildirim, Muhammed A., 2014. "School choice with controlled choice constraints: Hard bounds versus soft bounds," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 648-683.
    5. 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.
    6. Kesten, Onur & Ünver, M. Utku, 2015. "A theory of school choice lotteries," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(2), May.
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    8. 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.
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    11. Hafalir, Isa Emin & Yenmez, M. Bumin & Yildirim, Muhammed Ali, 2013. "Effective affirmative action in school choice," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(2), May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    school choice; matching; priority ordering; deferred acceptance;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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