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Identifying the Harm of Manipulable School-Choice Mechanisms

Umut Dur, Robert G. Hammond and Thayer Morrill

American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2018, vol. 10, issue 1, 187-213

Abstract: An important but under-explored issue in student assignment procedures is heterogeneity in the level of strategic sophistication among students. Our work provides the first direct measure of which students rank schools following their true preference order (sincere students) and which rank schools by manipulating their true preferences (sophisticated students). We present evidence that our proxy for sophistication captures systematic differences among students. Our results demonstrate that sophisticated students are 9.6 percentage points more likely to be assigned to one of their preferred schools. Further, we show that this large difference in assignment probability occurs because sophisticated students systematically avoid over-demanded schools.

JEL-codes: D82 H75 I21 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20160132
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