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Strategy-Proofness makes the Difference: Deferred- Acceptance with Responsive Priorities
Mathematics of Operations Research
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 New York City.
Deferred-acceptance mechanism, Indivisible objects allocation, Multiple tie-breaking, School choice, Strategy-proofness
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