The Equitable Top Trading Cycles Mechanism for School Choice

40 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2018

See all articles by Rustamdjan Hakimov

Rustamdjan Hakimov

WZB Berlin Social Science Center; University of Lausanne

Onur Kesten

Carnegie Mellon University - David A. Tepper School of Business

Date Written: November 2018

Abstract

A particular adaptation of Gale's top trading cycles (TTC) procedure applied to school choice, the so‐called TTC mechanism, has attracted much attention both in theory and practice due to its superior efficiency and incentive features. We discuss and introduce alternative adaptations of Gale's original procedure that can offer improvements over TTC in terms of equity, along with various other distributional considerations. Instead of giving all the trading power to those students with the highest priority for a school, we argue for the distribution of the trading rights of all slots of each school: This allows them to trade in a thick market where additional constraints can be accommodated by choosing an appropriate pointing rule. We propose a particular mechanism of this kind, the equitable top trading cycle (ETTC) mechanism, which is also Pareto efficient and group strategy‐proof just like TTC and eliminates avoidable justified envy situations. ETTC generates significantly fewer justified envy situations than TTC both in simulations and the lab.

Suggested Citation

Hakimov, Rustamdjan and Kesten, Onur, The Equitable Top Trading Cycles Mechanism for School Choice (November 2018). International Economic Review, Vol. 59, Issue 4, pp. 2219-2258, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3284014 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/iere.12335

Rustamdjan Hakimov (Contact Author)

WZB Berlin Social Science Center ( email )

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin, 10785
Germany

University of Lausanne ( email )

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, 1016
Switzerland

Onur Kesten

Carnegie Mellon University - David A. Tepper School of Business ( email )

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

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