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Less is more: A Field Experiment on Matching


  • Guillen, Pablo
  • Hakimov, Rustamdjan


We run a field experiment to test the truth-telling rates of the theoretically strategy-proof Top Trading Cycles mechanism (TTC) under different information conditions. First, we asked first-year economics students enrolled in an introductory microeconomics unit about which topic, among three, they would most like to write an essay about. Most students chose the same favorite topic. Then we used TTC to distribute students equally across the three options. We ran three treatments varying the information the students received about the mechanism. In the first treatment students were given a description of the matching mechanism. In the second they received a description of the strategy-proofness of the mechanism without details of the mechanism. Finally, in the third they were given both pieces of information. We find a significant and positive effect of describing the strategy-proofness on truth-telling rates. ON the other hand, describing the matching mechanism has a significant and negative effect on truth-telling rates.

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  • Guillen, Pablo & Hakimov, Rustamdjan, 2015. "Less is more: A Field Experiment on Matching," Working Papers 2015-16, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:syd:wpaper:2015-16

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Guillen, Pablo & Hing, Alexander, 2014. "Lying through their teeth: Third party advice and truth telling in a strategy proof mechanism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 178-185.
    3. 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.
    4. Hakimov, Rustamdjan & Kesten, Onur, 2014. "The equitable top trading cycles mechanism for school choice," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2014-210, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    5. Flip Klijn & Joana Pais & Marc Vorsatz, 2013. "Preference intensities and risk aversion in school choice: a laboratory experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(1), pages 1-22, March.
    6. Guillen, Pablo & Hakimov, Rustamdjan, 2014. "Monkey see, monkey do: Truth-telling in matching algorithms and the manipulation of others," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2014-202, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
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