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

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Author Info

  • Flip Klijn

    ()
    (Harvard Business School)

  • Joana Pais

    ()
    (Technical University of Lisbon
    UECE–Research Unit on Complexity and Economics)

  • Marc Vorsatz

    ()
    (Fundacion de Estudios de Economia Aplicada (FEDEA))

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 Gale-Shapley 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 Gale-Shapley 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 Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 10-093.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:10-093

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Related research

Keywords: school choice; risk aversion; preference intensities; laboratory experiment; Gale-Shapley mechanism; Boston mechanism; efficiency; stability; constrained choice;

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References

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  1. Caterina Calsamiglia & Guillaume Haeringer & Flip Klijn, 2008. "Constrained School Choice: An Experimental Study," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 757.08, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  2. Sönmez, Tayfun & Pathak, Parag A. & Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Roth, Alvin, 2005. "The Boston Public School Match," Scholarly Articles 2562764, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Barberà, S. & Dutta, B., 1995. "Protective behavior in matching models," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 281-296.
  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. Pais, Joana & Pintér, Ágnes, 2008. "School choice and information: An experimental study on matching mechanisms," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 303-328, September.
  6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  7. Frank Heinemann & Rosemarie Nagel & Peter Ockenfels, 2004. "Measuring Strategic Uncertainty in Coordination Games," CESifo Working Paper Series 1364, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Smez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," Discussion Papers 0203-18, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  9. Guillaume Haeringer & Flip Klijn, 2006. "Constrained School Choice," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 671.06, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC), revised 02 Dec 2008.
  10. Barbera, Salvador & Dutta, Bhaskar, 1982. "Implementability via protective equilibria," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 49-65, June.
  11. Ergin, Haluk & Sonmez, Tayfun, 2006. "Games of school choice under the Boston mechanism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 215-237, January.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Pathak, Parag Abishek & Roth, Alvin E., 2009. "Strategy-Proofness Versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the NYC High School Match," Scholarly Articles 11077572, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Yan Chen & Tayfun Sönmez, 2004. "School Choice: An Experimental Study," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 622, Boston College Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Min Zhu, 2013. "College Admissions in China : A Mechanism Design Perspective," Working Papers halshs-00860931, HAL.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Guillen, Pablo & Hakimov, Rustamdjan, 2014. "Monkey see, monkey do: Truth-telling in matching algorithms and the manipulation of others," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2014-202, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  6. Janine Balter & Michela Rancan & Olena Senyuta, 2014. "Truncation in the Matching Markets and Market Ineffciency," RSCAS Working Papers 2014/04, European University Institute.
  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 1327, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.

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