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From Boston to Chinese parallel to deferred acceptance: Theory and experiments on a family of school choice mechanisms

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  • Chen, Yan
  • Onur, Kesten

Abstract

We characterize a parametric family of application-rejection school choice mechanisms, including the Boston and Deferred Acceptance mechanisms as special cases, and spanning the parallel mechanisms for Chinese college admissions, the largest centralized matching in the world. Moving from one extreme member to the other results in systematic changes in manipulability, stability and welfare properties. Neither the ex-post dominance of the DA over the equilibria of Boston, nor the ex-ante dominance of Boston equilibria over the DA in stylized settings extends to the parallel mechanisms. In the laboratory, participants are most likely to reveal their preferences truthfully under the DA mechanism, followed by the Chinese parallel and then the Boston mechanisms. Furthermore, while the DA is significantly more stable than the Chinese parallel mechanism, which is more stable than Boston, efficiency comparisons vary across environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Yan & Onur, Kesten, 2013. "From Boston to Chinese parallel to deferred acceptance: Theory and experiments on a family of school choice mechanisms," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2013-205, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmbh:spii2013205
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 2003. "Introduction to "The Economics of School Choice"," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 1-22 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Sönmez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 729-747, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Fuhito Kojima & M. Utku Ünver, 2010. "The 'Boston' School-Choice Mechanism," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 729, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 08 Oct 2010.
    5. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2003. "The Economics of School Choice," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number hox03-1, June.
    6. Cason, Timothy N. & Saijo, Tatsuyoshi & Sjostrom, Tomas & Yamato, Takehiko, 2006. "Secure implementation experiments: Do strategy-proof mechanisms really work?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 206-235, November.
    7. Chen, Yan & Sonmez, Tayfun, 2006. "School choice: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 202-231, March.
    8. Clayton Featherstone & Muriel Niederle, 2008. "Ex Ante Efficiency in School Choice Mechanisms: An Experimental Investigation," NBER Working Papers 14618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Yeon-Koo Che & Yosuke Yasuda, 2011. "Resolving Conflicting Preferences in School Choice: The "Boston Mechanism" Reconsidered," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 399-410, February.
    10. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sönmez, 2006. "Changing the Boston School Choice Mechanism," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001022, UCLA Department of Economics.
    11. He, Yinghua, 2012. "Gaming the Boston School Choice Mechanism in Beijing," TSE Working Papers 12-345, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Paula Jaramillo, 2017. "Minimal consistent enlargements of the immediate acceptance rule and the top trading cycles rule in school choice," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 48(1), pages 177-195, January.
    2. Klijn, Flip & Pais, Joana & Vorsatz, Marc, 2016. "Affirmative action through minority reserves: An experimental study on school choice," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 72-75.
    3. Fack, Gabrielle & Grenet, Julien & He, Yinghua, 2015. "Beyond Truth-Telling: Preference Estimation with Centralized School Choice and College Admissions," TSE Working Papers 15-607, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Sep 2017.
    4. Min Zhu, 2013. "College Admissions in China : A Mechanism Design Perspective," Working Papers 1327, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    5. Stylianos Despotakis & Isa Hafalir & R Ravi & Amin Sayedi, "undated". "Expertise in Online Markets," GSIA Working Papers 2015-E8, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    6. Azar Abizada & Siwei Chen, 2015. "Stability and strategy-proofness for college admissions with an eligibility criterion," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 19(1), pages 47-66, March.
    7. Lijia Tan & Lijia Wei, 2014. "Car License Auction: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 1401, Xiamen Unversity, The Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics, Finance and Economics Experimental Laboratory, revised 02 Sep 2014.
    8. Zhu, Min, 2014. "College admissions in China: A mechanism design perspective," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 618-631.
    9. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-01215998 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. David Cantala & Juan Sebastián Pereyra, 2017. "Priority-driven behaviors under the Boston mechanism," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 21(1), pages 49-63, March.
    11. Jaimie W. Lien & Jie Zheng & Xiaohan Zhong, 2016. "Preference submission timing in school choice matching: testing fairness and efficiency in the laboratory," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(1), pages 116-150, March.
    12. repec:eee:gamebe:v:103:y:2017:i:c:p:94-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Min Zhu, 2013. "College Admissions in China : A Mechanism Design Perspective," Working Papers halshs-00860931, HAL.
    14. Harless, Patrick, 2014. "A School Choice Compromise: Between Immediate and Deferred Acceptance," MPRA Paper 61417, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    school choice; Boston mechanism; Chinese parallel mechanism; deferred acceptance; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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