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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. Chen, Yan & Sonmez, Tayfun, 2004. "An experimental study of house allocation mechanisms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 137-140, April.
  2. Guillen, Pablo & Kesten, Onur, 2010. "Matching Markets with Mixed Ownership: The Case for A Real-life Assignment Mechanism," Working Papers 2010-01, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
  3. Pais, Joana & Pintér, Ágnes, 2008. "School choice and information: An experimental study on matching mechanisms," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 303-328, September.
  4. Mariagiovanna Baccara & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Alistair J. Wilson & Leeat Yariv, 2012. "A Field Study on Matching with Network Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 1773-1804, August.
  5. Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Sonmez, Tayfun, 1999. "House Allocation with Existing Tenants," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 233-260, October.
  6. Guillaume Haeringer & Caterina Calsamiglia & Flip Klijn, 2009. "Constrained School Choice: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 2009.29, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  7. Szilvia Papai, 2000. "Strategyproof Assignment by Hierarchical Exchange," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1403-1434, November.
  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, vol. 4(1), pages 11-40, January.
  9. 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.
  10. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Smez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," Discussion Papers 0203-18, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  11. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sonmez & M. Utku Unver, 2003. "Kidney Exchange," NBER Working Papers 10002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Chen, Yan & Sonmez, Tayfun, 2006. "School choice: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 202-231, March.
  13. Haruvy, Ernan & Roth, Alvin E. & Unver, M. Utku, 2006. "The dynamics of law clerk matching: An experimental and computational investigation of proposals for reform of the market," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 457-486, March.
  14. 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.
  15. Haeringer, Guillaume & Klijn, Flip, 2009. "Constrained school choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 1921-1947, September.
  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. M. Utku Ünver, 2001. "On the Survival of Some Unstable Two-Sided Matching Mechanisms," Experimental 0111001, EconWPA, revised 01 Nov 2003.
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