Nuremberg Research Seminar in Economics on 2 June 2021

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You are invited to join the weekly Nuremberg Research Seminar in Economics on 2 June 2021 at 13:15. The seminar will be held via Zoom. Hessel Oosterbeek (University of Amsterdam) will be talking about “School assignment, segregation and student outcomes”.

Please find below the abstract:

From 2005 onwards secondary schools in Amsterdam use the adaptive Boston mechanism to assign students to schools. In 2013 we conducted a survey eliciting students’ cardinal preferences. Combining the survey data with register data on actual school choices, we find that around 7% of the students are revealed strategic. While this is potentially welfare enhancing, we find that it is not. Because many revealed-strategic students make strategic mistakes, mean welfare would be higher under the strategy-proof Deferred Acceptance (DA) mechanism than under manipulable Boston.

In 2015 the secondary schools in Amsterdam switched to DA. We use information from students’ preference lists to assess the importance of residential sorting and heterogeneous preferences for school segregation. We find that segregation within ability tracks is mainly due to preference heterogeneity. Residential sorting only plays a minor role.

Amsterdam’s DA mechanism uses a lottery to break ties. We exploit this to examine the effects of placement in students’ top-ranked school versus lower ranked schools on school satisfaction, school outcomes, friendships and  other outcomes.