FEEM working papers "Note di lavoro"
Date: 09/2010

Constrained School Choice: An Experimental Study

Authors: Guillaume Haeringer, Caterina Calsamiglia, Flip Klijn
Type: Journal
JEL n.: C72,C78,D78,I20
JEL: American Economic Review
Pages: Vol. 100, Issue 4, pp. 1860-1874
Keywords: School Choice,Matching,Experiment,Gale-Shapley,Top Trading Cycles,Boston Mechanism,Efficiency,Stability,Truncation,Truthtelling,Safety School


The literature on school choice assumes that families can submit a preference list over all the schools they want to be assigned to. However, in many real-life instances families are only allowed to submit a list containing a limited number of schools. Subjects' incentives are drastically affected, as more individuals manipulate their preferentes. Including a safety school in the constrained list explains most manipulations. Competitiveness across schools plays an important role. Constraining choices increases segregation and affects the stability and efficiency of the final allocation. Remarkably, the constraint reduces significantly the proportion of subjects playing a dominated strategy.

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