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Lotteries in Student Assignment: An Equivalence Result

How Are Lotteries Used in Student Assignment?

School Assignment, January 2011

Parag Pathak and Jay Sethuraman inves­ti­gate a sim­pli­fied method for under­stand­ing how lot­ter­ies are used in assign­ing stu­dents to schools.  This work stems from design of new stu­dent assign­ment mech­a­nisms cou­pled with inter­ests by pol­i­cy­mak­ers from author­i­ties such as the NYC Department of Education.  Here Pathak and Sethuraman uncover that sin­gle and mul­ti­ple lot­tery mech­a­nisms are equiv­a­lent for the prob­lem of allo­cat­ing stu­dents to schools in which stu­dents have strict pref­er­ences and the schools are indifferent.