Fair implementation of diversity in school choice

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JournalGames and Economic Behaviour
DateAccepted/In press - 23 Mar 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 29 Mar 2016
DatePublished (current) - May 2016
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)54-63
Early online date29/03/16
Original languageEnglish


Many school districts have objectives regarding how students of different races, ethnicity or religious backgrounds should be distributed across schools. A growing literature in mechanism design is introducing school choice mechanisms that attempt to satisfy those requirements. We show that mechanisms based on the student-proposing deferred acceptance may fail to satisfy those objectives, but that by using instead the school-proposing deferred acceptance together with a choice function used by the schools, which incorporates a preference for satisfying them, can optimally approximate the diversity objectives while still satisfying an appropriate fairness criterion. We provide analytical results which show that the proposed mechanism has a general ability to satisfy those objectives, as opposed to some currently proposed mechanisms, which may yield segregated assignments.

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© 2016 Elsevier Inc. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.

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