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School Choice and Loss Aversion

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  • Vincent Meisner
  • Jonas von Wangenheim

Abstract

Evidence suggests that participants in direct student-proposing deferred-acceptance mechanisms (DA) play dominated strategies. To explain the data, we introduce expectation-based loss aversion into a school-choice setting and characterize choice-acclimating personal equilibria in DA. We find that non-truthful preference submissions can be strictly optimal if and only if they are top-choice monotone. In equilibrium, DA may implement allocations with justified envy. Specifically, it discriminates against students who are more loss averse or less confident than their peers, and amplifies already existing discrimination. To level the playing field, we propose sequential mechanisms as alternatives that are robust to these biases.

Suggested Citation

  • Vincent Meisner & Jonas von Wangenheim, 2021. "School Choice and Loss Aversion," CESifo Working Paper Series 9479, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_9479
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    Cited by:

    1. Balzer, Benjamin & Rosato, Antonio & von Wangenheim, Jonas, 2022. "Dutch vs. first-price auctions with expectations-based loss-averse bidders," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 205(C).
    2. Meisner, Vincent, 2021. "Report-Dependent Utility and Strategy-Proofness," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 289, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    3. Jean-Michel Benkert, 2015. "Bilateral trade with loss-averse agents," ECON - Working Papers 188, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Jul 2022.
    4. Karle, Heiko & Schumacher, Heiner & Vølund, Rune, 2023. "Consumer loss aversion and scale-dependent psychological switching costs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 214-237.
    5. Andrew Kloosterman & Peter Troyan, 2023. "Rankings-Dependent Preferences: A Real Goods Matching Experiment," Papers 2305.03644, arXiv.org, revised Jun 2024.
    6. Bnaya Dreyfuss & Ofer Glicksohn & Ori Heffetz & Assaf Romm, 2022. "Deferred Acceptance with News Utility," NBER Working Papers 30635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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. Vincent Meisner, 2023. "Report-Dependent Utility and Strategy-Proofness," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 69(5), pages 2733-2745, May.
    9. Jean-Michel Benkert, 2015. "Bilateral trade with loss-averse agents," ECON - Working Papers 188, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Jul 2022.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    market design; matching; school choice; reference-dependent preferences; loss aversion; deferred acceptance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D47 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Market Design
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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