Research / BFI Working PaperApr 30, 2024

The Provision of Information and Incentives in School Assignment Mechanisms

Research on centralized school assignment mechanisms often focuses on whether parents who participate in specific mechanisms are likely to truthfully report their preferences or engage in various costly strategic behaviors. However, a growing literature suggests that parents may not know enough about the school options available to them to form complete preference rankings. We develop a simple model that explains why it is not surprising that many participants in school assignment mechanisms possess limited information about the schools available to them. We then discuss policies that could improve both the information that participants bring to school assignment mechanisms and the quality of the schools in their choice sets.

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