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The Design of Teacher Assignment: Theory and Evidence

Working Paper

Julien Combe, Olivier Tercieux, and Camille Terrier

July 2022

To assign teachers to schools, a modified version of the well-known deferred acceptance mechanism has been proposed in the literature and is used in practice. The research shows that this mechanism fails to be fair and efficient for both teachers and schools. The researchers identify a class of strategy-proof mechanisms that cannot be improved upon in terms of both efficiency and fairness. Using a rich dataset on teachers’ applications in France, the researchers estimate teacher preferences and perform a counterfactual analysis. The results show that these mechanisms perform much better than the modified version of deferred acceptance. For instance, the number of teachers moving from their positions more than triples under our mechanism.