Minimizing Justified Envy in School Choice: The Design of New Orleans' Oneapp

42 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2017 Last revised: 3 Apr 2017

See all articles by Atila Abdulkadiroglu

Atila Abdulkadiroglu

Duke University - Department of Economics

Yeon-Koo Che

Columbia University

Parag A. Pathak

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics

Alvin E. Roth

HBS Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Olivier Tercieux

Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques (PSE)

Date Written: March 2017

Abstract

In 2012, New Orleans Recovery School District (RSD) became the first U.S. district to unify charter and traditional public school admissions in a single-offer assignment mechanism known as OneApp. The RSD also became the first district to use a mechanism based on Top Trading Cycles (TTC) in a real-life allocation problem. Since TTC was originally devised for settings in which agents have endowments, there is no formal rationale for TTC in school choice. In particular, TTC is a Pareto efficient and strategy-proof mechanism, but so are other mechanisms. We show that TTC is constrained-optimal in the following sense: TTC minimizes justified envy among all Pareto efficient and strategy-proof mechanisms when each school has one seat. When schools have more than one seat, there are multiple possible implementations of TTC. Data from New Orleans and Boston indicate that there is little difference across these versions of TTC, but significantly less justified envy compared to a serial dictatorship.

Suggested Citation

Abdulkadiroglu, Atila and Che, Yeon-Koo and Pathak, Parag A. and Roth, Alvin E. and Tercieux, Olivier, Minimizing Justified Envy in School Choice: The Design of New Orleans' Oneapp (March 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23265. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2941243

Atila Abdulkadiroglu (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Yeon-Koo Che

Columbia University ( email )

420 W. 118th Street, 1016IAB
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-8276 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.columbia.edu/~yc2271

Parag A. Pathak

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
E52-391
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Alvin E. Roth

HBS Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-5447 (Phone)
617-496-7379 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Olivier Tercieux

Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques (PSE) ( email )

48, BD Jourdan
75014 Paris
France

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