NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Paulo J. Somaini

Stanford Graduate School of Business
Knight Management Center
655 Knight Way E372D
Stanford, CA 94305

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NBER Program Affiliations: IO
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow

NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2014Demand Analysis using Strategic Reports: An application to a school choice mechanism
with Nikhil Agarwal: 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...
 
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