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American Economic Review: Vol. 99 No. 5 (December 2009)

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Strategy-Proofness versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the NYC High School Match

Article Citation

Abdulkadiro─člu, Atila, Parag A. Pathak, and Alvin E. Roth. 2009. "Strategy-Proofness versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the NYC High School Match." American Economic Review, 99(5): 1954-78.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.5.1954

Abstract

The design of the New York City (NYC) high school match involved trade-offs among efficiency, stability, and strategy-proofness that raise new theoretical questions. We analyze a model with indifferences -- ties -- in school preferences. Simulations with field data and the theory favor breaking indifferences the same way at every school -- single tiebreaking -- in a student-proposing deferred acceptance mechanism. Any inefficiency associated with a realized tiebreaking cannot be removed without harming student incentives. Finally, we empirically document the extent of potential efficiency loss associated with strategy-proofness and stability, and direct attention to some open questions. (JEL C78, D82, I21)

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Authors

Abdulkadiro─člu, Atila (Duke U)
Pathak, Parag A. (MIT)
Roth, Alvin E. (Harvard U)

JEL Classifications

C78: Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
D82: Asymmetric and Private Information
I21: Analysis of Education


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