The Welfare Effects of Coordinated Assignment: Evidence from the NYC HS Match
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.
We thank Neil Dorosin, Jesse Margolis, Sonali Murarka, and Elizabeth Sciabarra for their expertise and for facilitating access to the data used in this study. Special thanks to Alvin E. Roth for his collaboration, which made this study possible. Jesse Margolis provided extremely helpful comments. We also thank Josh Angrist, Steve Berry, Stefan Bonhomme, Eric Budish, Francesco Decarolis, Matt Gentzkow, Arda Gitmez, Jerry Hausman, Phil Haile, Ali Hortacsu, Peter Hull, Yusuke Narita, Derek Neal, Alex Olssen, Ariel Pakes, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Jesse Shapiro, and seminar participants at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, Federal Reserve Bank of NY, London School of Economics, Yale University, and the NBER Market Design conference for input. We received excellent research assistance from Alonso Bucarey, Red Davis, Weiwei Hu, Danielle Wedde, and a hard-working team of MIT undergraduates. Agarwal acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation (grant SES- 1427231). Pathak acknowledges support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (grant BR2012-068), National Science Foundation (grant SES-1056325), and the William T. Grant Foundation. Abdulkadiroglu and Pathak are on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Innovation in Public School Choice. The authors declare that they have no relevant or material financial interests that relate to the research in this paper. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Abdulkadiroglu serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Innovation in Public School Choice, a non-profit 501(c) that provides assistance to school districts on the implementation of school choice systems.Parag A. Pathak
Pathak is on the scientific advisory board of the Institute for Innovation in Public School Choice, a non-profit 501(c) that provides assistance to school districts on the implementation of school choice systems.
- A student-matching algorithm derived from economic theory performed better, across a variety of metrics, than the...
Abdulkadiroğlu, Atila, Nikhil Agarwal, and Parag A. Pathak. 2017. "The Welfare Effects of Coordinated Assignment: Evidence from the New York City High School Match." American Economic Review, 107 (12): 3635-89. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20151425