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How Lotteries in School Choice Help to Level the Playing Field

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  • Christian Basteck
  • Bettina Klaus
  • Dorothea Kuebler

Abstract

The use of lotteries is advocated to desegregate schools. We study lottery quotas embedded in the two most common school choice mechanisms, namely deferred and immediate acceptance mechanisms. Some seats are allocated based on merit (e.g., grades) and some based on lottery draws. We focus on the effect of the lottery quota on truth-telling, the utility of students, and the student composition at schools, using theory and experiments. We find that the lottery quota strengthens truth-telling in equilibrium when the deferred acceptance mechanism is used while it has no clear effect on truth-telling in equilibrium for the immediate acceptance mechanism. This finds support in the experiment. Moreover, the lottery quota leads to more diverse school populations in the experiments, as predicted. Comparing the two mechanisms, students with the lowest grades profit more from the introduction of the lottery under immediate than under deferred acceptance.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Basteck & Bettina Klaus & Dorothea Kuebler, 2018. "How Lotteries in School Choice Help to Level the Playing Field," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'économie 18.06, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, Département d’économie.
  • Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:18.06
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    Cited by:

    1. Hakimov, Rustamdjan & Kübler, Dorothea, 2019. "Experiments On Matching Markets: A Survey," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 153, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    2. Schmidt, Robert J. & Trautmann, Stefan, 2019. "Implementing (Un)fair Procedures? Favoritism and Process Fairness when Inequality is Inevitable," Other publications TiSEM 125472e2-51a2-4cf9-aab5-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    3. Adam Kapor & Mohit Karnani & Christopher Neilson, 2019. "Negative Externalities of Off Platform Options and the Efficiency of Centralized Assignment Mechanisms," Working Papers 635, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    4. Rustamdjan Hakimov & Dorothea Kübler, 2021. "Experiments on centralized school choice and college admissions: a survey," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(2), pages 434-488, June.
    5. Elias Bouacida & Renaud Foucart, 2022. "Rituals of Reason," Working Papers 344119591, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    6. Zhang, Jun, 2021. "Level-k reasoning in school choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 1-17.
    7. Mennle, Timo & Seuken, Sven, 2021. "Partial strategyproofness: Relaxing strategyproofness for the random assignment problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    8. 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, pages 434-488.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    School choice; immediate acceptance mechanism; deferred acceptance mechanism; lotteries; experiment; market design;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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