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Tiered Housing Allocation: an Experimental Analysis

  • Carrillo, Juan D
  • Singhal, Saurabh

We study in the laboratory, a variant of the house allocation with existing tenants problem where agents are partitioned into tiers with different privileges. Members of higher tiers receive their allocation before those in lower tiers and can also take the endowment of a member of a lower tier if they wish to. In this tiered environment, we evaluate the performance of the modified versions of three well-known mechanisms - the Top Trading Cycle (TTC), the Gale-Shapley (GS) and the Random Serial Dictatorship (RSD). For all three mechanisms, we find low rates of participation (around 40%), high rates of truth-telling conditional on participation (around 90%) and efficiency levels that are high (above 90%) but below full efficiency. Also, of the three novelties introduced in our experiment -tiered structure, multiple matches and known priority queue- only the last one has an impact on choices, with subjects being significantly more likely to participate the higher their position in the queue. Finally, the majority of subjects who do not play according to the theory still follow discernible patterns of participation and preference revelation.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8255.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8255
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  11. Yan Chen & Tayfun Sönmez, 2004. "School Choice: An Experimental Study," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 622, Boston College Department of Economics.
  12. Ernan Haruvy & Alvin E. Roth & M. Utku Unver, 2004. "The Dynamics of Law Clerk Matching: An Experimental and Computational Investigation of Proposals for Reform of the Market," Experimental 0404001, EconWPA.
  13. Olson, Mark & Porter, David, 1994. "An Experimental Examination into the Design of Decentralized Methods to Solve the Assignment Problem with and without Money," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 11-40, January.
  14. Szilvia Papai, 2000. "Strategyproof Assignment by Hierarchical Exchange," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1403-1434, November.
  15. Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Sonmez, Tayfun, 1999. "House Allocation with Existing Tenants," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 233-260, October.
  16. Tayfun Sönmez & M. Utku Ünver, 2009. "Matching, Allocation, and Exchange of Discrete Resources," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 717, Boston College Department of Economics.
  17. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Smez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," Discussion Papers 0203-18, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
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