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American Economic Review: Vol. 101 No. 1 (February 2011)

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Resolving Conflicting Preferences in School Choice: The "Boston Mechanism" Reconsidered

Article Citation

Abdulkadiro─člu, Atila, Yeon-Koo Che, and Yosuke Yasuda. 2011. "Resolving Conflicting Preferences in School Choice: The "Boston Mechanism" Reconsidered." American Economic Review, 101(1): 399-410.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.1.399

Abstract

Despite its widespread use, the Boston mechanism has been criticized for its poor incentive and welfare performances compared to the Gale-Shapley deferred acceptance algorithm (DA). By contrast, when students have the same ordinal preferences and schools have no priorities, we find that the Boston mechanism Pareto dominates the DA in ex ante welfare, that it may not harm but rather benefit participants who may not strategize well, and that, in the presence of school priorities, the Boston mechanism also tends to facilitate greater access than the DA to good schools for those lacking priorities at those schools. (JEL D82, I21, I28)

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Authors

Abdulkadiro─člu, Atila (Duke U)
Che, Yeon-Koo (Columbia U and YERI, Yonsei U)
Yasuda, Yosuke (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo)

JEL Classifications

D82: Asymmetric and Private Information
I21: Analysis of Education
I28: Education: Government Policy


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