Strategies in the Tallinn School Choice Mechanism

Andre Veski, Kaire Põder


In the first 20 years of the market economy in Estonia, the public school market was decentralised in Tallinn. Recently, a hybrid market was established by centralising the school allocations to comprehensive schools and also allowing some selective schools to autonomously select students for some groups. We contribute to mechanism design literature by studying the centralised clearing-house used in Tallinn – the Tallinn mechanism. By using genetic algorithms, we show that, the Tallinn mechanism incentivises families to manipulate their preference revelation by reporting only a few schools and not always from the top of their preference list. Also we see that the expected utility in the Tallinn mechanism is higher compared to the widely used Deferred-Acceptance mechanism, although the number of unassigned students is also higher.

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