The Illusion of School Choice: Evidence from Barcelona

Maia Guell, Caterina Calsamiglia

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper


The Boston mechanism is a school allocation procedure that is widely used around the world. To resolve overdemands, priority is often given to families who live in the neighborhood school. We note that such priorities define some schools as being safer. We exploit an unexpected change in the definition of neighborhood in Barcelona to show that when allowing school choice under the BM with priorities: (1) the resulting allocation is not very different from a neighborhood-based assignment, and (2) important inequalities emerge beyond parents' naivete found in the literature.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBarcelona Graduate School of Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameBarcelona GSE Working Paper


  • school choice
  • Boston mechanism
  • Priorities
  • C78
  • D63
  • I24


Dive into the research topics of 'The Illusion of School Choice: Evidence from Barcelona'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this