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Preference Estimation in Deferred Acceptance with Partial School Rankings

Shanjukta Nath

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Abstract: The Deferred Acceptance algorithm is a popular school allocation mechanism thanks to its strategy proofness. However, with application costs, strategy proofness fails, leading to an identification problem. In this paper, I address this identification problem by developing a new Threshold Rank setting that models the entire rank order list as a one-step utility maximization problem. I apply this framework to study student assignments in Chile. There are three critical contributions of the paper. I develop a recursive algorithm to compute the likelihood of my one-step decision model. Partial identification is addressed by incorporating the outside value and the expected probability of admission into a linear cost framework. The empirical application reveals that although school proximity is a vital variable in school choice, student ability is critical for ranking high academic score schools. The results suggest that policy interventions such as tutoring aimed at improving student ability can help increase the representation of low-income low-ability students in better quality schools in Chile.

Date: 2020-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-des, nep-upt and nep-ure
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