Quantifying the Benefits of Digitalizing and Centralizing Sudent Applications and Assignment to Schools

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Dec 2022
Traditional (decentralized) student assignment systems are characterized by their inefficiency, lack of transparency, and inequity of distribution. In response, ever more places have begun to implement digital centralized assignment systems. Although the literature has endorsed these systems assignment efficiency, this document is the first to analyze their cost-efficiency and discuss traditionally overlooked benefits: monitoring, transparency, and planning tools in the market. Using administrative data from Chile, the analysis estimates that the implementation of digital centralization could generate a net impact of USD 13 million, considering the direct implementation costs, the savings generated during the transition, and the resulting efficiency gains. Our results confirm that this policy is not only efficient but also cost-efficient.