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Gaming the Boston School Choice Mechanism in Beijing

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  • He, Yinghua

Abstract

The Boston mechanism is criticized for its poor incentive and welfare performance compared to the Gale-Shapley deferred-acceptance mechanism (DA). Using school choice data from Beijing, I investigate parents’ behavior under the Boston mechanism, taking into account parents’ possible mistakes when they strategize. Evidence shows that parents are overcautious as they play "safe" strategies too often. Wealthier/more educated parents are less overcautious and perform slightly better because they have better outside options while not being any more adept at strategizing. Parents who are always truth-telling experience a utility gain in switching from the Boston mechanism to the DA, equivalent to a 7.1% decrease in the distance to a school. Among them, 44.2% are better off under the DA, while 35.5% are worse off.

Suggested Citation

  • He, Yinghua, 2012. "Gaming the Boston School Choice Mechanism in Beijing," TSE Working Papers 12-345, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:26414
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    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. Caterina Calsamiglia & Chao Fu & Maia Güell, 2014. "Structural Estimation of a Model of School Choices: the Boston Mechanism vs. Its Alternatives," Working Papers 2014-21, FEDEA.
    3. He, Yinghua & Magnac, Thierry, 2017. "A Pigouvian Approach to Congestion in Matching Markets," TSE Working Papers 17-870, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    4. Carvalho, José-Raimundo & Magnac, Thierry & Xiong, Qizhou, 2014. "College Choice Allocation Mechanisms: Structural Estimates and Counterfactuals," IZA Discussion Papers 8550, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Yinghua He & Antonio Miralles & Jianye Yan, 2012. "Competitive Equilibrium from Equal Incomes for Two-Sided Matching," Working Papers 692, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    6. Fack, Gabrielle & Grenet, Julien & He, Yinghua, 2015. "Beyond Truth-Telling: Preference Estimation with Centralized School Choice and College Admissions," TSE Working Papers 15-607, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Sep 2017.
    7. Adam Kapor & Christopher A. Neilson & Seth D. Zimmerman, 2017. "Heterogeneous Beliefs and School Choice Mechanisms," Working Papers 612, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    8. de Haan, Monique & Gautier, Pieter A. & Oosterbeek, Hessel & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2015. "The performance of school assignment mechanisms in practice," CEPR Discussion Papers 10656, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. 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.
    10. He, Yinghua, 2012. "Gaming the Boston School Choice Mechanism in Beijing," TSE Working Papers 12-345, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    11. Chen, Yan & Onur, Kesten, 2013. "From Boston to Chinese parallel to deferred acceptance: Theory and experiments on a family of school choice mechanisms," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2013-205, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    12. Nikhil Agarwal & Paulo Somaini, 2014. "Demand Analysis using Strategic Reports: An application to a school choice mechanism," NBER Working Papers 20775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Min Zhu, 2013. "College Admissions in China : A Mechanism Design Perspective," Working Papers halshs-00860931, HAL.
    14. Harless, Patrick, 2014. "A School Choice Compromise: Between Immediate and Deferred Acceptance," MPRA Paper 61417, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    16. Alexis Le Chapelain, 2014. "Market for Education and Student Achievement," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/1jgbspo1909, Sciences Po.
    17. Zhu, Min, 2014. "College admissions in China: A mechanism design perspective," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 618-631.
    18. repec:aea:aejpol:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:187-213 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C57 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Econometrics of Games and Auctions
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D47 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Market Design
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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