The Performance of School Assignment Mechanisms in Practice

38 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2015

See all articles by Monique de Haan

Monique de Haan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Pieter A. Gautier

Free University of Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Hessel Oosterbeek

University of Amsterdam - Research Institute in Economics & Econometrics (RESAM); Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Bas van der Klaauw

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Tinbergen Institute

Abstract

Theory points to a potential trade-off between two main school assignment mechanisms; Boston and Deferred Acceptance (DA). While DA is strategy-proof and gives a stable matching, Boston might outperform DA in terms of ex-ante efficiency. We quantify the (dis)advantages of the mechanisms by using information about actual choices under Boston complemented with survey data eliciting students' school preferences.We find that under Boston around 8% of the students apply to another school than their most-preferred school. We compare allocations resulting from Boston with DA with single tie-breaking (one central lottery; DA-STB) and multiple tie-breaking (separate lottery per school; DA-MTB). DA-STB places more students in their top-n schools, for any n, than Boston and results in higher average welfare. We find a trade-off between DA-STB and DA-MTB. DA-STB places more students in their single most-preferred school than DA-MTB, but fewer in their top-n, for n ≥ 2. Finally, students from disadvantaged backgrounds benefit most from a switch from Boston to any of the DA mechanisms.

Keywords: school choice, Boston mechanism, deferred acceptance mechanism, strategic behavior, ex-ante efficiency, ex-post efficiency

JEL Classification: C83, D47, I20

Suggested Citation

de Haan, Monique and Gautier, Pieter A. and Oosterbeek, Hessel and van der Klaauw, Bas, The Performance of School Assignment Mechanisms in Practice. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9118, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2655067

Monique De Haan (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Pieter A. Gautier

Free University of Amsterdam ( email )

Amsterdam, ND North Holland
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA) ( email )

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS
Netherlands

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Hessel Oosterbeek

University of Amsterdam - Research Institute in Economics & Econometrics (RESAM) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 525 4242 (Phone)
+31 20 525 5283 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.fee.uva.nl/scholar/oosterbeek/

Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA)

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Bas Van der Klaauw

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 444 6120 (Phone)
+31 20 444 6005 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Tinbergen Institute

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

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