School Choice: An Experimental Study
AbstractWe present an experimental study of three school choice mechanisms. The Boston mechanism is influential in practice, while the two alternative mechanisms, the Gale-Shapley and Top Trading Cycles mechanisms, have superior theoretical properties in terms of incentives and efficiency. Consistent with theory, this study indicates a high preference manipulation rate under the Boston mechanism. As a result, efficiency under Boston is significantly lower than that of the two competing mechanisms in the designed environment. However, contrary to theory, Gale-Shapley outperforms the Top Trading Cycles mechanism and generates the highest efficiency. Our results suggest that replacing the Boston mechanism with either Gale-Shapley or Top Trading Cycles mechanism might significantly improve efficiency, however, the efficiency gains are likely to be more profound when parents are educated about the incentive compatibility of these mechanisms.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 622.
Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 20 Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming, Journal of Economic Theory
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill MA 02467 USA
Web page: http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC/
More information through EDIRC
school choice; Boston mechanism; mechanism design; Gale-Shapley mechanism; Top Trading Cycles mechanism;
Other versions of this item:
- C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-09-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-EXP-2005-09-29 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-URE-2005-09-29 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Balinski, Michel & Sonmez, Tayfun, 1999. "A Tale of Two Mechanisms: Student Placement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 73-94, January.
- Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Smez, 2003.
"School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach,"
0203-18, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
- Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Sonmez, 1998. "Random Serial Dictatorship and the Core from Random Endowments in House Allocation Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 689-702, May.
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