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The Boston Public School Match

The Boston Public School Match ˙ ˙ ˘ By ATILA ABDULKADIROGLU, PARAG A. PATHAK, ALVIN E. ROTH, AND ¨ TAYFUN SONMEZ* After the publication of “School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach” by Abdulkadiroglu and Sonmez (2003), a Boston Globe re˘ ¨ porter contacted us about the Boston Public Schools (BPS) system for assigning students to schools. The Globe article highlighted the difficulties that Boston’s system may give parents in strategizing about applying to schools. Briefly, Boston tries to give students their firstchoice school. But a student who fails to get her first choice may find her later choices filled by students who chose them first. So there is a risk in ranking a school first if there is a chance of not being admitted; other schools that would have been possible had they been listed first may also be filled. Valerie Edwards, then Strategic Planning Manager at BPS, and her colleague Carleton Jones invited us to a meeting in October 2003. BPS agreed to a study of their assignment system and provided us with micro-level data sets on choices and characteristics of students in the grades at which school choices are made (K, 1, 6, and 9), and school characteristics. Based on the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Economic Review American Economic Association

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Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by the American Economic Association
Subject
Papers
ISSN
0002-8282
DOI
10.1257/000282805774669637
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

˙ ˙ ˘ By ATILA ABDULKADIROGLU, PARAG A. PATHAK, ALVIN E. ROTH, AND ¨ TAYFUN SONMEZ* After the publication of “School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach” by Abdulkadiroglu and Sonmez (2003), a Boston Globe re˘ ¨ porter contacted us about the Boston Public Schools (BPS) system for assigning students to schools. The Globe article highlighted the difficulties that Boston’s system may give parents in strategizing about applying to schools. Briefly, Boston tries to give students their firstchoice school. But a student who fails to get her first choice may find her later choices filled by students who chose them first. So there is a risk in ranking a school first if there is a chance of not being admitted; other schools that would have been possible had they been listed first may also be filled. Valerie Edwards, then Strategic Planning Manager at BPS, and her colleague Carleton Jones invited us to a meeting in October 2003. BPS agreed to a study of their assignment system and provided us with micro-level data sets on choices and characteristics of students in the grades at which school choices are made (K, 1, 6, and 9), and school characteristics. Based on the

Journal

American Economic ReviewAmerican Economic Association

Published: May 1, 2005

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