Nikhil Agarwal

Department of Economics, E52-460
77 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
NBER Program Affiliations: IO , HC
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2015The Welfare Effects of Coordinated Assignment: Evidence from the NYC HS Match
with Atila Abdulkadiroğlu, Parag A. Pathak: w21046
Coordinated single-offer school assignment systems are a popular education reform. We show that uncoordinated offers in NYC’s school assignment mechanism generated mismatches. One-third of applicants were unassigned after the main round and later administratively placed at less desirable schools. We evaluate the effects of the new coordinated mechanism based on deferred acceptance using estimated student preferences. The new mechanism achieves 80% of the possible gains from a no-choice neighborhood extreme to a utilitarian benchmark. Coordinating offers dominates the effects of further algorithm modifications. Students most likely to be previously administratively assigned experienced the largest gains in welfare and subsequent achievement.
December 2014An Empirical Model of the Medical Match
This paper develops a framework for estimating preferences in two-sided matching markets with non-transferable utility using only data on observed matches. Unlike single-agent choices, matches depend on the preferences of other agents in the market. I use pairwise stability together with a vertical preference restriction on one side of the market to identify preference parameters for both sides of the market. Recovering the distribution of preferences is only possible in an environment with many-to-one matching. These methods allow me to investigate two issues concerning the centralized market for medical residents. First, I examine the antitrust allegation that the clearinghouse restrains competition, resulting in salaries below the marginal product of labor. Counterfactual simulations of...

Published: Nikhil Agarwal, 2015. "An Empirical Model of the Medical Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(7), pages 1939-78, July. citation courtesy of

Demand Analysis using Strategic Reports: An application to a school choice mechanism
with Paulo Somaini: w20775
Several school districts use assignment systems that give students an incentive to misrepresent their preferences. We find evidence consistent with strategic behavior in Cambridge. Such strategizing can complicate preference analysis. This paper develops empirical methods for studying random utility models in a new and large class of school choice mechanisms. We show that preferences are non-parametrically identified under either sufficient variation in choice environments or a preference shifter. We then develop a tractable estimation procedure and apply it to Cambridge. Estimates suggest that while 82% of students are assigned to their stated first choice, only 72% are assigned to their true first choice because students avoid ranking competitive schools. Assuming that students behave op...
May 2009Toxic Exposure in America: Estimating Fetal and Infant Health Outcomes
with Chanont Banternghansa, Linda Bui: w14977
We examine the effect of exposure to toxic releases that are tracked by the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) on county-level infant and fetal mortality rates in the United States between 1989-2002. We find significant adverse effects of TRI concentrations on infant mortality rates, but not on fetal mortality rates. In particular, we estimate that the average county-level decrease in aggregate TRI concentrations saved in excess of 25,000 infant lives from 1989-2002. Using a value of life of $1.8M - $8.7M, the savings in lives would be valued at $45B - $217.5B. We also find that the effect of toxic exposure on health outcomes varies across pollution media: air pollution has a larger impact on health outcomes than either water or land. And, within air pollution, releases of carcinogens are parti...

Published: Toxic Exposure in America: Estimating Fetal and Infant Health Outcomes From 14 Years of TRI Reporting with Chanont Banternghansa and Linda Bui Journal of Health Economics, July 2010

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