Preference intensities and risk aversion in school choice: a laboratory experiment
We experimentally investigate in the laboratory prominent mechanisms that are employed in school choice programs to assign students to public schools and 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 enrollment planning and the possible protection risk averse agents seek. Copyright Economic Science Association 2013
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