Neilson awarded NSF grant to fund research on centralized school choice mechanisms

Sept. 23, 2019

Christopher Neilson, Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, along with co-principal investigators Adam Kapor (Princeton) and Seth Zimmerman (University of Chicago) have been awarded a grant from the Division of Social and Economic Sciences of the National Science Foundation to support research on centralized school choice mechanisms.

This research will use experimental methods to study the reasons parents make school choices with very little information about options available to them. The research will study the relative importance of two mechanisms through which this occurs: (i) difficulty and cost of acquiring information about school characteristics, and/or (ii) families have incorrect beliefs about the distribution of schools, believing that all schools are the same. The research will develop a theoretical model based on parent?s beliefs about school quality and how these beliefs change as they receive new information. The research will then test this theory by providing different amounts of information to parents to see how this affects their school choice decisions.

For a full abstract, see