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How Lotteries in School Choice Help to Level the Playing Field

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Listed:
  • 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'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 18.06, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  • Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:18.06
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Basteck, Christian & Mantovani, Marco, 2018. "Cognitive ability and games of school choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 156-183.
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    4. Parag A. Pathak & Tayfun Sonmez, 2008. "Leveling the Playing Field: Sincere and Sophisticated Players in the Boston Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1636-1652, September.
    5. Ehlers, Lars & Klaus, Bettina, 2016. "Object allocation via deferred-acceptance: Strategy-proofness and comparative statics," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 128-146.
    6. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth, 2009. "Strategy-proofness versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the New York City High School Match," NBER Working Papers 14864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    School choice; immediate acceptance mechanism; deferred acceptance mechanism; lotteries; experiment; market design;

    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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