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Preference Intensities and Risk Aversion in School Choice: A Laboratory Experiment

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  • Flip Klijn
  • Joana Pais
  • Marc Vorsatz

Abstract

We experimentally investigate in the laboratory two prominent mechanisms that are employed in school choice programs to assign students to public schools. We study how individual behavior is influenced by preference intensities and risk aversion. Our main results show that (a) the GaleShapley mechanism is more robust to changes in cardinal preferences than the Boston mechanism independently of whether individuals can submit a complete or only a restricted ranking of the schools and (b) subjects with a higher degree of risk aversion are more likely to play safer strategies under the GaleShapley but not under the Boston mechanism. Both results have important implications for the efficiency and the stability of the mechanisms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 447.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:447

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Keywords: School choice; risk aversion; preference intensities; laboratory experiment; Gale–Shapleymechanism; Bostonmechanism; efficiency; stability; constrained choice;

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References

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  1. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Yeon-Koo Che & Yosuke Yasuda, 2011. "Resolving Conflicting Preferences in School Choice: The "Boston Mechanism" Reconsidered," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 399-410, February.
  2. Barbera, S. & Dutta, B., 1991. "Protective Behaviour in Matching Models," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 157.91, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  3. Haeringer, Guillaume & Klijn, Flip, 2009. "Constrained school choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 1921-1947, September.
  4. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  5. Guillaume Haeringer & Caterina Calsamiglia & Flip Klijn, 2009. "Constrained School Choice: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 2009.29, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  6. Chen, Yan & Sonmez, Tayfun, 2006. "School choice: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 202-231, March.
  7. Barbera, Salvador & Dutta, Bhaskar, 1982. "Implementability via protective equilibria," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 49-65, June.
  8. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth, 2009. "Strategy-Proofness versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the NYC High School Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1954-78, December.
  9. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Smez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," Discussion Papers 0203-18, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  10. Frank Heinemann & Rosemarie Nagel & Peter Ockenfels, 2004. "Measuring Strategic Uncertainty in Coordination Games," CESifo Working Paper Series 1364, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Joana Pais & Ágnes Pintér, 2006. "School Choice and Information An Experimental Study on Matching Mechanisms," Working Papers Department of Economics 2006/14, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  12. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun S�nmez, 2005. "The Boston Public School Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 368-371, May.
  13. Haluk Ergin & Tayfun Sönmez, 2005. "Games of School Choice under the Boston Mechanism," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 619, Boston College Department of Economics.
  14. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Chen, Yan & Onur, Kesten, 2013. "From Boston to Chinese parallel to deferred acceptance: Theory and experiments on a family of school choice mechanisms," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2013-205, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  2. Guillén, Pablo & Hakimov, Rustamdjan, 2014. "Monkey see, monkey do: truth-telling in matching algorithms and the manipulation of others," Working Papers 2014-01, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
  3. Janine Balter & Michela Rancan & Olena Senyuta, 2014. "Truncation in the Matching Markets and Market Ineffciency," RSCAS Working Papers 2014/04, European University Institute.
  4. Min Zhu, 2013. "College Admissions in China : A Mechanism Design Perspective," Working Papers 1327, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  5. Wu, Binzhen & Zhong, Xiaohan, 2014. "Matching mechanisms and matching quality: Evidence from a top university in China," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 196-215.
  6. Flip Klijn & Joana Pais & Marc Vorsatz, 2014. "Affirmative Action through Minority Reserves: An Experimental Study on School Choice," Working Papers 752, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  7. Nicoló, Antonio & Rodríguez-Álvarez, Carmelo, 2012. "Transplant quality and patientsʼ preferences in paired kidney exchange," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 299-310.
  8. Min Zhu, 2013. "College Admissions in China : A Mechanism Design Perspective," Working Papers halshs-00860931, HAL.

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