Strategy-proofness makes the difference: deferred-acceptance with responsive priorities
Series/Report no.Cahier de recherche #2012-12
In college admissions and student placements at public schools, the admission decision can be thought of as assigning indivisible objects with capacity constraints to a set of students such that each student receives at most one object and monetary compensations are not allowed. In these important market design problems, the agent-proposing deferred-acceptance (DA-)mechanism with responsive strict priorities performs well and economists have successfully implemented DA-mechanisms or slight variants thereof. We show that almost all real-life mechanisms used in such environments - including the large classes of priority mechanisms and linear programming mechanisms - satisfy a set of simple and intuitive properties. Once we add strategy-proofness to these properties, DA-mechanisms are the only ones surviving. In market design problems that are based on weak priorities (like school choice), generally multiple tie-breaking (MTB)procedures are used and then a mechanism is implemented with the obtained strict priorities. By adding stability with respect to the weak priorities, we establish the first normative foundation for MTB-DA-mechanisms that are used in NYC.