EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Changing the Boston School Choice Mechanism

Atila Abdulkadiroglu, Parag Pathak, Alvin Roth () and Tayfun Sönmez ()
Additional contact information
Atila Abdulkadiroglu: Columbia University

No 639, Boston College Working Papers in Economics from Boston College Department of Economics

Abstract: In July 2005 the Boston School Committee voted to replace the existing Boston school choice mechanism with a deferred acceptance mechanism that simplifies the strategic choices facing parents. This paper presents the empirical case against the previous Boston mechanism, a priority matching mechanism, and the case in favor of the change to a strategy-proof mechanism. Using detailed records on student choices and assignments, we present evidence both of sophisticated strategic behavior among some parents, and of unsophisticated strategic behavior by others. We find evidence that some parents pay close attention to the capacity constraints of different schools, while others appear not to. In particular, we show that many unassigned students could have been assigned to one of their stated choices with a different strategy under the current mechanism. This interaction between sophisticated and unsophisticated players identifies a new rationale for strategy-proof mechanisms based on fairness, and was a critical argument in Boston's decision to change the mechanism. We then discuss the considerations that led to the adoption of a deferred acceptance mechanism as opposed to the (also strategy-proof) top trading cycles mechanism.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dcm and nep-ure
Date: 2006-01-07
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (65) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC-P/wp639.pdf main text (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Changing the Boston School Choice Mechanism (2006) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:boc:bocoec:639

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Boston College Working Papers in Economics from Boston College Department of Economics Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill MA 02467 USA. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Christopher F Baum ().

 
Page updated 2019-09-12
Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:639