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Tiered Housing Allocation: an Experimental Analysis

  • Juan D Carrillo
  • Saurabh Singhal

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 truthtelling 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 USC Lusk Center for Real Estate in its series Working Paper with number 8511.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:luk:wpaper:8511
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  1. Guillaume Haeringer & Flip Klijn, 2006. "Constrained School Choice," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 671.06, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC), revised 02 Dec 2008.
  2. Szilvia Papai, 2000. "Strategyproof Assignment by Hierarchical Exchange," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1403-1434, November.
  3. Joana Pais & Agnes Pinter, 2007. "School Choice and Information. An Experimental Study on Matching Mechanisms," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 018, University of Siena.
  4. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sonmez & M. Utku Unver, 2003. "Kidney Exchange," Game Theory and Information 0308002, EconWPA.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Yan Chen & Tayfun S�nmez, 2002. "Improving Efficiency of On-Campus Housing: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1669-1686, December.
  8. Nalbantian, Haig R & Schotter, Andrew, 1995. "Matching and Efficiency in the Baseball Free-Agent System: An Experimental Examination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-31, January.
  9. M. Utku Ünver, 2005. "On the survival of some unstable two-sided matching mechanisms," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 239-254, 06.
  10. Mariagiovanna Baccara & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Alistair Wilson & Leeat Yariv, 2009. "A Field Study on Matching with Network Externalities," Working Papers 09-13, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  11. Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Sonmez, Tayfun, 1999. "House Allocation with Existing Tenants," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 233-260, October.
  12. 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.
  13. Guillaume Haeringer & Caterina Calsamiglia & Flip Klijn, 2009. "Constrained School Choice: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 2009.29, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  14. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Smez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," Discussion Papers 0203-18, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  15. Yan Chen & Tayfun Sönmez, 2004. "School Choice: An Experimental Study," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 622, Boston College Department of Economics.
  16. Chen, Yan & Sonmez, Tayfun, 2004. "An experimental study of house allocation mechanisms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 137-140, April.
  17. 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.
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