The Market Design Approach to Teacher Assignment: Evidence from Ecuador

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Sep 2021
We study the advantages, trade-offs, and challenges of employing a centralized rule to determine the allocation of teachers to schools. Data come from the centralized teacher assignment program in Ecuador, "Quiero ser Maestro," conducted by the Ministry of Education. Notably, in 2019 the program transitioned from a priority based algorithm to a strategy proof mechanism, similar to the change introduced in Boston in 2005 to assign students to schools. Using the reported preferences, we conduct a counterfactual analysis and nd substantive evidence that the adjustment in algorithm resulted in greater efficiency for the school system. However, in contrast to the Boston case, we nd the benefits stem from increasing the competition for positions among teachers, rather than by the introduction of a strategy-proof mechanism.