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Tiered Housing Allocation: an Experimental Analysis

Listed author(s):
  • 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
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8255
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  8. 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;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(1), pages 11-40, January.
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  10. Yan Chen & Tayfun Sönmez, 2002. "Improving Efficiency of On-Campus Housing: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1669-1686, December.
  11. repec:pit:wpaper:486 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Sonmez, Tayfun, 1999. "House Allocation with Existing Tenants," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 233-260, October.
  13. Roth, Alvin E. & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1992. "Two-sided matching," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 485-541 Elsevier.
  14. Chen, Yan & Sonmez, Tayfun, 2004. "An experimental study of house allocation mechanisms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 137-140, April.
  15. Pablo Guillen & Onur Kesten, 2012. "Matching Markets With Mixed Ownership: The Case For A Real‐Life Assignment Mechanism," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(3), pages 1027-1046, 08.
  16. Haeringer, Guillaume & Klijn, Flip, 2009. "Constrained school choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 1921-1947, September.
  17. M. Utku Ünver, 2005. "On the survival of some unstable two-sided matching mechanisms," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 33(2), pages 239-254, 06.
  18. 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.
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