NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Structural Estimation of a Model of School Choices: the Boston Mechanism vs. Its Alternatives

Caterina Calsamglia, Chao Fu, Maia Güell

NBER Working Paper No. 24588
Issued in May 2018
NBER Program(s):Economics of Education, Labor Studies, Public Economics

We model household choice of schools under the Boston mechanism (BM) and develop a new method, applicable to a broad class of mechanisms, to fully solve the choice problem even if it is infeasible via the traditional method. We estimate the joint distribution of household preferences and sophistication types using administrative data from Barcelona. Counterfactual policy analyses show that a change from BM to the Deferred Acceptance mechanism would decrease average welfare by 1,020 euros, while a change to the top trading cycles mechanism would increase average welfare by 460 euros.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24588

 
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