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Affirmative Action through Minority Reserves: An Experimental Study on School Choice

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  • Flip Klijn
  • Joana Pais
  • Marc Vorsatz

Abstract

Minority reserves are an affirmative action policy proposed by Hafalir et al. (2013) in the context of school choice. We study in the laboratory the effect of minority reserves on the outcomes of two prominent matching mechanisms, the Gale-Shapley and the Top Trading Cycles mechanisms. Our first experimental result is that the introduction of minority reserves enhances truth-telling of some minority students under the Gale-Shapley but not under the Top Trading Cycles mechanism. Secondly, for the Gale-Shapley mechanism we also find that the stable matchings that are more beneficial to students are obtained more often relative to the other stable matchings when minority reserves are introduced. Finally, the overall expected payoff increases under the Gale-Shapley but decreases under the Top Trading Cycles mechanism if minority reserves are introduced. However, the minority group benefits and the majority group is harmed under both mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:752
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Caterina Calsamiglia & Guillaume Haeringer & Flip Klijn, 2010. "Constrained School Choice: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1860-1874, September.
    3. Braun Sebastian & Dwenger Nadja & Kübler Dorothea, 2010. "Telling the Truth May Not Pay Off: An Empirical Study of Centralized University Admissions in Germany," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-38, March.
    4. Ehlers, Lars & Hafalir, Isa E. & Yenmez, M. Bumin & Yildirim, Muhammed A., 2014. "School choice with controlled choice constraints: Hard bounds versus soft bounds," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 648-683.
    5. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Sönmez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 729-747, June.
    6. Flip Klijn & Joana Pais & Marc Vorsatz, 2013. "Preference intensities and risk aversion in school choice: a laboratory experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(1), pages 1-22, March.
    7. Frank Heinemann & Rosemarie Nagel & Peter Ockenfels, 2009. "Measuring Strategic Uncertainty in Coordination Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 181-221.
    8. Guillen, Pablo & Hing, Alexander, 2014. "Lying through their teeth: Third party advice and truth telling in a strategy proof mechanism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 178-185.
    9. Kojima, Fuhito, 2012. "School choice: Impossibilities for affirmative action," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 685-693.
    10. Chen, Yan & Sonmez, Tayfun, 2006. "School choice: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 202-231, March.
    11. Federico Echenique & M. Bumin Yenmez, 2015. "How to Control Controlled School Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(8), pages 2679-2694, August.
    12. Scott Duke Kominers & Tayfun Sönmez, 2012. "Designing for Diversity: Matching with Slot-Specific Priorities," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 806, Boston College Department of Economics.
    13. Hafalir, Isa Emin & Yenmez, M. Bumin & Yildirim, Muhammed Ali, 2013. "Effective affirmative action in school choice," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(2), May.
    14. 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).
    15. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Doğan, Battal, 2016. "Responsive affirmative action in school choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 69-105.
    2. repec:eee:gamebe:v:109:y:2018:i:c:p:212-239 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Flip Klijn & Joana Pais & Marc Vorsatz, 2016. "Static versus Dynamic Deferred Acceptance in School Choice: Theory and Experiment," Working Papers 926, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sequencing situations; outsourcing; first best solution; game theory; price of anarchy; coordinating mechanism;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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