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Promoting School Competition Through School Choice: A Market Design Approach

  • John William Hatfield

    (Graduate School of Business Stanford University)

  • Fuhito Kojima

    (Department of Economics Stanford University)

  • Yusuke Narita

    (Department of Economics MIT)

Registered author(s):

    We study the effect of different school choice mechanisms on schools' incentives for quality improvement. To do so, we introduce the following criterion: A mechanism respects improvements of school quality if each school becomes weakly better whenever that school improves and thereby becomes more preferred by students. We first show that no stable mechanism, or mechanism that is Pareto efficient for students (such as the Boston and top trading cycles mechanisms), respects improvements of school quality. Nevertheless, for large school districts, we demonstrate that any stable mechanism approximately respects improvements of school quality; by contrast, the Boston and top trading cycles mechanisms fail to do so. Thus a stable mechanism may provide better incentives for schools to improve themselves than the Boston and top trading cycles mechanisms.

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    File URL: http://www-siepr.stanford.edu/repec/sip/12-036.pdf
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    Paper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 12-036.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:12-036
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    1. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sönmez, 2006. "Changing the Boston School Choice Mechanism," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 639, Boston College Department of Economics.
    2. Parag A. Pathak & Tayfun Sönmez, 2011. "School Admissions Reform in Chicago and England: Comparing Mechanisms by their Vulnerability to Manipulation," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 784, Boston College Department of Economics.
    3. 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.
    4. Yeon-Koo Che & Fuhito Kojima, 2010. "Asymptotic Equivalence of Probabilistic Serial and Random Priority Mechanisms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(5), pages 1625-1672, 09.
    5. Guillaume Haeringer & Caterina Calsamiglia & Flip Klijn, 2009. "Constrained School Choice: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 2009.29, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. Shapley, Lloyd & Scarf, Herbert, 1974. "On cores and indivisibility," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 23-37, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Alcalde, J. & Barberà, S., 1992. "Top Dominance and the Possibility of Strategy-Proof Stable Solutions to Matching Problems," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 196.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    9. Alcalde, Jose, 1996. "Implementation of Stable Solutions to Marriage Problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 240-254, April.
    10. Blum, Yosef & Roth, Alvin E. & Rothblum, Uriel G., 1997. "Vacancy Chains and Equilibration in Senior-Level Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 362-411, October.
    11. Balinski, Michel & Sonmez, Tayfun, 1999. "A Tale of Two Mechanisms: Student Placement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 73-94, January.
    12. Haluk I. Ergin, 2002. "Efficient Resource Allocation on the Basis of Priorities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2489-2497, November.
    13. Tayfun Sönmez & Tobias B. Switzer, 2011. "Matching with (Branch-of-Choice) Contracts at United States Military Academy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 782, Boston College Department of Economics.
    14. Fuhito Kojima & Parag A. Pathak, 2009. "Incentives and Stability in Large Two-Sided Matching Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 608-27, June.
    15. Haeringer, Guillaume & Klijn, Flip, 2009. "Constrained school choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 1921-1947, September.
    16. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun S�nmez, 2005. "The Boston Public School Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 368-371, May.
    17. Kojima, Fuhito & Manea, Mihai, 2010. "Incentives in the probabilistic serial mechanism," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(1), pages 106-123, January.
    18. Manea, Mihai, 2009. "Asymptotic ordinal inefficiency of random serial dictatorship," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 4(2), June.
    19. Sonmez, Tayfun, 1997. "Manipulation via Capacities in Two-Sided Matching Markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 197-204, November.
    20. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Sönmez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 729-747, June.
    21. Kesten, Onur, 2006. "On two competing mechanisms for priority-based allocation problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 155-171, March.
    22. Parag A. Pathak, 2011. "The Mechanism Design Approach to Student Assignment," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 513-536, 09.
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