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Cognitive ability and games of school choice

Christian Basteck () and Marco Mantovani ()

Games and Economic Behavior, 2018, vol. 109, issue C, 156-183

Abstract: We take school admission mechanisms to the lab to test whether the widely-used manipulable Immediate Acceptance mechanism disadvantages students of lower cognitive ability and whether this leads to ability segregation across schools. Results show this to be the case: lower ability participants receive lower payoffs and are over-represented at the worst school. Under the strategy-proof Deferred Acceptance mechanism, payoff differences are reduced, and ability distributions across schools harmonized. Hence, we find support for the argument that a strategy-proof mechanism “levels the playing field”. Finally, we document a trade-off between equity and efficiency in that average payoffs are larger under Immediate than under Deferred Acceptance.

Keywords: Laboratory experiment; School choice; Strategy-proofness; Cognitive ability; Mechanism design (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C78 C92 D82 I24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Working Paper: Cognitive Ability and Games of School Choice (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Cognitive Ability and Games of School Choice (2016) Downloads
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