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Regular version of the site

Working paper

Comparing School Choice and College Admission Mechanisms By Their Immunity to Strategic Admissions

arxiv.org. Theoretical Economics. Cornell University, 2020
Nesterov A. S., Bonkoungou S.
Recently dozens of school districts and college admissions systems around the world have reformed their admission rules. As a main motivation for these reforms the policymakers cited strategic flaws of the rules: students had strong incentives to game the system, which caused dramatic consequences for non-strategic students. However, almost none of the new rules were strategy-proof. We explain this puzzle. We show that after the reforms the rules became more immune to strategic admissions: each student received a smaller set of schools that he can get in using a strategy, weakening incentives to manipulate. Simultaneously, the admission to each school became strategy-proof to a larger set of students, making the schools more available for non-strategic students. We also show that the existing explanation of the puzzle due to Pathak and Sönmez (2013) is incomplete.