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Matching Markets with Mixed Ownership: The Case for A Real-life Assignment Mechanism

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  • Guillen, Pablo
  • Kesten, Onur

Abstract

We consider a common indivisible good allocation problem in which agents have both social and private endowments. Popular applications include student assignment to on-campus housing, kidney exchange, and particular school choice problems. In a series of experiments Chen and Sönmez (American Economic Review 92: 1669-1686, 2002) have shown that a popular mechanism from recent theory, the Top Trading Cycles (TTC) mechanism, induces a significantly higher participation rate by agents with private endowments and leads to significantly more efficient outcomes than the most commonly used real-life mechanism, the Random Serial Dictatorship with Squatting Rights.We first show that a particular mechanism, the so-called New House 4 (NH4) mechanism, which has been in use at MIT since the 1980s, is in fact outcome-equivalent to a natural adaptation of the well-known Gale-Shapley mechanism of two-sided matching theory. This implies that the NH4 mechanism is the most efficient mechanism within the class of fair and individually rational mechanisms, and that it is essentially the only incentive compatible mechanism satisfying the two properties. We then experimentally compare NH4 and TTC. We find that under NH4, the participation rate is significantly higher than under TTC. We also propose a new efficiency test based on ordinal preference information and show that NH4 also outperforms TTC in terms of efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:syd:wpaper:2123/7220
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    1. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth, 2005. "The New York City High School Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 364-367, May.
    2. Chen, Yan & Sonmez, Tayfun, 2006. "School choice: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 202-231, March.
    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. Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Sonmez, Tayfun, 1999. "House Allocation with Existing Tenants," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 233-260, October.
    5. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sönmez, 2005. "The Boston Public School Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 368-371, May.
    6. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Sönmez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 729-747, June.
    7. Balinski, Michel & Sonmez, Tayfun, 1999. "A Tale of Two Mechanisms: Student Placement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 73-94, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Westkamp, 2013. "An analysis of the German university admissions system," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 53(3), pages 561-589, August.
    2. Hugh-Jones, David & Kurino, Morimitsu & Vanberg, Christoph, 2014. "An experimental study on the incentives of the probabilistic serial mechanism," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 367-380.
    3. 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.
    4. Braun, Sebastian & Dwenger, Nadja & Kübler, Dorothea & Westkamp, Alexander, 2014. "Implementing quotas in university admissions: An experimental analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 232-251.
    5. 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).
    6. Juan D Carrillo & Saurabh Singhal, 2011. "Tiered Housing Allocation: an Experimental Analysis," Working Paper 8511, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
    7. repec:eee:jetheo:v:170:y:2017:i:c:p:29-55 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. John Kennes Jr. & Daniel Monte Jr. & Norovsambuu Tumennasan Jr., 2014. "The Day Care Assignment: A Dynamic Matching Problem," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 362-406, November.

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    Keywords

    Priority; Deferred acceptance; Matching; House allocation;

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