Structural Estimation of a Model of School Choices: The Boston Mechanism vs. Its Alternatives
42 Pages Posted: 14 May 2018 Last revised: 8 Mar 2021
Date Written: May 2018
We model household choice of schools under the Boston mechanism (BM) and develop a new method, applicable to a broad class of mechanisms, to fully solve the choice problem even if it is infeasible via the traditional method. We estimate the joint distribution of household preferences and sophistication types using administrative data from Barcelona. Counterfactual policy analyses show that a change from BM to the Deferred Acceptance mechanism would decrease average welfare by 1,020 euros, while a change to the top trading cycles mechanism would increase average welfare by 460 euros.
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