American Economic Review: Vol. 100 No. 4 (September 2010)


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Constrained School Choice: An Experimental Study

Article Citation

Calsamiglia, Caterina, Guillaume Haeringer, and Flip Klijn. 2010. "Constrained School Choice: An Experimental Study." American Economic Review, 100(4): 1860-74.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.4.1860


The literature on school choice assumes that families can submit a preference list over all the schools they want to be assigned to. However, in many real-life instances families are only allowed to submit a list containing a limited number of schools. Subjects' incentives are drastically affected, as more individuals manipulate their preferences. Including a safety school in the constrained list explains most manipulations. Competitiveness across schools plays an important role. Constraining choices increases segregation and affects the stability and efficiency of the final allocation. Remarkably, the constraint reduces significantly the proportion of subjects playing a dominated strategy (JEL D82, I21 )

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Calsamiglia, Caterina (U Autonoma de Barcelona)
Haeringer, Guillaume (U Autonoma de Barcelona)
Klijn, Flip (CSIC, U Autonoma de Barcelona)

JEL Classifications

D82: Asymmetric and Private Information
I21: Analysis of Education

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