HCEO member Chao Fu presented on the structural estimation of a model of school choices at the University of Chicago Econometrics Workshop. An important debate centers on what procedure should be used to allocate students across public schools. This work contributes to this debate by developing and estimating a model of school choices by households under one of the most popular procedures known as the Boston mechanism (BM). The authors recover the joint distribution of household preferences and sophistication types using administrative data from Barcelona. Their counterfactual policy analyses show that a change from BM to the Gale-Shapley student deferred acceptance mechanism would create more losers than winners, while a change from BM to the top trading cycles mechanism has the opposite effect.

This research was done in colaboration with Caterina Calsamiglia in Summer 2014 at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.