A Robust Redesign of High School Match

Sam Hwang
2015 Proceedings of the The Third Conference on Auctions, Market Mechanisms and Their Applications  
Many school districts allow parents to report their preference rankings over schools and assign as many students as possible to their first choices. However, this well-intended assignment policy, known as the Boston mechanism, creates incentives for parents to misreport their true preferences. I consider the problem of estimating parents' preference parameters with reported rankings under this policy. The challenge is that we do not know who misreports and how. Previous literature has made
more » ... g assumptions about the who and the how. I assume that everyone adheres to a simple rule: do not rank a popular school on your report unless you prefer it to less popular ones. I show that the simple rule, combined with an assumption regarding beliefs about popularities, partially identifies the preference parameters. I propose an estimator of the parameters and apply it to data from Seoul, Korea. I found that the estimated bounds on the parameters are tight. Counterfactual simulations show that the Boston mechanism is more efficientbut only by a small amount-than an alternative without incentives to misreport.
doi:10.4108/eai.8-8-2015.2260798 dblp:journals/sg/Hwang16 fatcat:a2girwxdujamdioeulamapqt4y