April 2024 EI Featured Article

"Designing School Choice Mechanisms: A Structural Model and Demand Estimation"

by Zhiyi Xu and Robert G. Hammond


Designing the markets that allocate public school seats is a crucial policy consideration. This paper compares the design of school choice mechanisms in terms of economic efficiency, stability, and strategic behavior. We estimate demand for schools using data from a large US public school system with novel indicators of students' levels of strategic sophistication. We find important benefits of reserving a set of seats to be assigned by a pure lottery. In settings that share features in common with the school system we study, our findings suggest that non-selective criteria such as lotteries induce a large increase in truth-telling.

First published: 01 December 2023 | https://doi.org/10.1111/ecin.13193


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