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

  • Chen, Yan
  • Onur, Kesten
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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.

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Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior with number SP II 2013-205.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmbh:spii2013205
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  1. 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.
  2. He, Yinghua, 2015. "Gaming the Boston School Choice Mechanism in Beijing," TSE Working Papers 15-551, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  3. Flip Klijn & Joana Pais & Marc Vorsatz, 2013. "Preference intensities and risk aversion in school choice: a laboratory experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 1-22, March.
  4. Cason, Timothy N. & Saijo, Tatsuyoshi & Sjostrom, Tomas & Yamato, Takehiho, 2003. "Secure Implementation Experiments: Do Strategy-Proof Mechanisms Really Work?," Working Papers 1165, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  5. 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.
  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. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2003. "The Economics of School Choice," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number hox03-1, May.
  8. 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.
  9. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Smez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," Discussion Papers 0203-18, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Chen, Yan & Sonmez, Tayfun, 2006. "School choice: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 202-231, March.
  12. 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.
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