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Equal Treatment as a Means of Evaluating Public School Assignment Mechanisms
A critical element in the sustainability of any public policy is the fair treatment of ‘similar’ individuals. This paper introduces a new dimension of merit to evaluate public school assignment mechanisms based on this notion of horizontal equity. The findings reveal that all of the prominent assignment mechanisms discussed in the literature fail to satisfy this ‘equal treatment’ criterion. I also show that there exists no student-optimal stable mechanism that also satisfies equal treatment, illustrating the tradeoff between constrained efficiency and horizontal equity. These findings surface a serious cause for concern about the public school assignment procedures used in major school districts.
Keywords: School Assignment, Equity , Efficiency
Citation: Umut Özek (2013). Equal Treatment as a Means of Evaluating Public School Assignment Mechanisms. CALDER Working Paper No. 99
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