Review of Economic Design

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 49–63 | Cite as

Priority-driven behaviors under the Boston mechanism

  • David Cantala
  • Juan Sebastián Pereyra
Original Paper


We study school choice markets where the non-strategy-proof Boston mechanism is used to assign students to schools. Inspired by previous field and experimental evidence, we analyze a type of behavior called priority-driven: students have a common ranking over the schools and then give a bonus in their submitted preferences to those schools for which they have high priority. We first prove that under this behavior, there is a unique stable and efficient matching, which is the outcome of the Boston mechanism. Second, we show that the three most prominent mechanisms on school choice (Boston, deferred acceptance, and top trading cycles) coincide when students’ submitted preferences are priority-driven. Finally, we run some computational simulations to show that the assumption of priority-driven preferences can be relaxed by introducing an idiosyncratic preference component, and our qualitative results carry over to a more general model of preferences.


Two-sided many-to-one matching School choice Boston algorithm Manipulation strategies Deferred acceptance algorithm 

JEL Classification

C72 D47 D78 D82 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Estudios Económicos at El Colegio de MéxicoMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.ECARES-Université Libre de Bruxelles and F.R.S.-FNRSBrusselsBelgium

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