Two School Systems, One District: What to Do When a Unified Admissions Process is Impossible

36 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2014

Date Written: September 2, 2014

Abstract

When groups of schools within a single district run their admission processes independently of one another, the resulting match is often inefficient: many children are left unmatched and seats are left unfilled.

We study the problem of re-matching students to take advantage of these empty seats in a context where there are priorities to respect. We propose an iterative way in which each group may independently match and re-match students to its schools.

The advantages of this process are that every iteration leads to a Pareto improvement and a reduction in waste while maintaining respect of the priorities. Furthermore, it reaches a non-wasteful match within a finite number of iterations.

While iterating may be costly, as it involves asking for inputs from the children, there are significant gains from the first few iterations. We show this analytically for certain stylized problems and computationally for a few others.

JEL Classification: C72, C78, I21

Suggested Citation

Manjunath, Vikram and Turhan, Bertan, Two School Systems, One District: What to Do When a Unified Admissions Process is Impossible (September 2, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2490545 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2490545

Vikram Manjunath

Texas A&M University ( email )

Langford Building A
798 Ross St.
College Station, TX 77843-3137
United States

Bertan Turhan (Contact Author)

Iowa State University ( email )

260 Heady Hall
Ames, IA 50011
United States

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