Journal Article | American Economic Review | December 2009

Strategy-proofness versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the NYC High School Match

by Atila Abdulkadiroglu, Parag A. Pathak and Alvin E. Roth

Abstract

The design of the New York City (NYC) High School match involved tradeoffs among efficiency, stability, and strategy-proofness that raise new theoretical questions. We analyze a model with indifferences—ties—in school preferences. Simulations with field data and the theory favor breaking indifferences the same way at every school—single tie breaking—in a student-proposing deferred acceptance mechanism. Any inefficiency associated with a realized tie breaking cannot be removed without harming student incentives. Finally, we empirically document the extent of potential efficiency loss associated with strategy-proofness and stability, and direct attention to some open questions.

Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Secondary Education; Marketplace Matching; Performance Efficiency; Mathematical Methods; Motivation and Incentives; Strategy; Balance and Stability;

Citation:

Abdulkadiroglu, Atila, Parag A. Pathak, and Alvin E. Roth. "Strategy-proofness versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the NYC High School Match." American Economic Review 99, no. 5 (December 2009). (AER links to access the Appendix and Downloadable Data Set.)