Modeling the transition to public school choice

Spiro Maroulis*, Eytan Bakshy, Louis Gomez, Uri Wilensky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We develop an agent-based model that captures the dynamic processes related to moving from an educational system in which students are automatically assigned to a neighborhood school to one that gives households more choice among existing and newly formed public schools. Analysis of our model reveals the importance of considering the timing of the entrance of new schools into the system in addition to their quantity and quality. Our model further reveals a range of conditions where the more households emphasize school achievement relative to geographic proximity in their school choice decision, the lower the mean achievement of the district - a paradoxical mismatch between micro- and macro-levels of behavior. We use data from Chicago Public Schools to initialize the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


  • Education
  • Public Policy
  • School Choice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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