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Not quite the best response: truth-telling, strategy-proof matching, and the manipulation of others

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  • Pablo Guillen

    (The University of Sydney)

  • Rustamdjan Hakimov

    (WZB, Berlin Social Science Center)

Abstract

Following the advice of economists, school choice programs around the world have lately been adopting strategy-proof mechanisms. However, experimental evidence presents a high variation of truth-telling rates for strategy-proof mechanisms. We crash test the connection between the strategy-proofness of the mechanism and truth-telling. We employ a within-subjects design by making subjects take two simultaneous decisions: one with no strategic uncertainty and one with some uncertainty and partial information about the strategies of other players. We find that providing information about the out-of-equilibrium strategies played by others has a negative and significant effect on truth-telling rates. That is, most participants in our within-subjects design try and fail to best-respond to changes in the environment. We also find that more sophisticated subjects are more likely to play the dominant strategy (truth-telling) across all the treatments. These results have potentially important implications for the design of markets based on strategy-proof matching mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

  • Pablo Guillen & Rustamdjan Hakimov, 2017. "Not quite the best response: truth-telling, strategy-proof matching, and the manipulation of others," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(3), pages 670-686, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10683-016-9505-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-016-9505-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Klijn, Flip & Pais, Joana & Vorsatz, Marc, 2019. "Static versus dynamic deferred acceptance in school choice: Theory and experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 147-163.
    2. Jorge Alcalde-Unzu & Flip Klijn & Marc Vorsatz, 2023. "Constrained school choice: an experimental QRE analysis," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 61(3), pages 587-624, October.
    3. Pablo Guillen & Róbert F. Veszteg, 2021. "Strategy-proofness in experimental matching markets," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(2), pages 650-668, June.
    4. Chen, Yan & He, YingHua, 2021. "Information acquisition and provision in school choice: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 197(C).
    5. Afacan, Mustafa Oğuz & Evdokimov, Piotr & Hakimov, Rustamdjan & Turhan, Bertan, 2022. "Parallel markets in school choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 181-201.
    6. Guillen, Pablo & Hakimov, Rustamdjan, 2018. "The effectiveness of top-down advice in strategy-proof mechanisms: A field experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 505-511.
    7. Hakimov, Rustamdjan & Kübler, Dorothea, 2021. "Experiments on centralized school choice and college admissions: a survey," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 434-488.
    8. Yoan Hermstrüwer, 2019. "Transparency and Fairness in School Choice Mechanisms," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2019_11, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    9. Christian Basteck & Marco Mantovani, 2023. "Aiding applicants: leveling the playing field within the immediate acceptance mechanism," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 27(1), pages 187-220, February.
    10. Alex Rees-Jones & Ran Shorrer & Chloe J. Tergiman, 2020. "Correlation Neglect in Student-to-School Matching," NBER Working Papers 26734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Guillen, Pablo & Kesten, Onur & Kiefer, Alexander & Melatos, Mark, 2020. "A Field Evaluation of a Matching Mechanism: University Applicant Behaviour in Australia," Working Papers 2020-15, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
    12. Takehito Masuda & Ryo Mikami & Toyotaka Sakai & Shigehiro Serizawa & Takuma Wakayama, 2022. "The net effect of advice on strategy-proof mechanisms: an experiment for the Vickrey auction," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 25(3), pages 902-941, June.
    13. Takehito Masuda & Ryo Mikami & Toyotaka Sakai & Shigehiro Serizawa & Takuma Wakayama, 2020. "The net effect of advice on strategy-proof mechanisms: An experiment for the Vickrey auction," ISER Discussion Paper 1109, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    14. Avinatan Hassidim & Assaf Romm & Ran I. Shorrer, 2021. "The Limits of Incentives in Economic Matching Procedures," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 67(2), pages 951-963, February.
    15. Hakimov, Rustamdjan & Kübler, Dorothea, 2019. "Experiments On Matching Markets: A Survey," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 153, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    16. In'acio B'o & Rustamdjan Hakimov, 2020. "Pick-an-object Mechanisms," Papers 2012.01025, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2023.
    17. Takehito Masuda & Ryo Mikami & Toyotaka Sakai & Shigehiro Serizawa & Takuma Wakayama, 2020. "The net effect of advice on strategy-proof mechanisms: An experiment for the Vickrey auction," ISER Discussion Paper 1109r, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, revised May 2021.

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