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Information acquisition and provision in school choice: An experimental study

Yan Chen and YingHua He

Journal of Economic Theory, 2021, vol. 197, issue C

Abstract: When participating in school choice, students often spend substantial effort acquiring information about schools. We investigate how two popular mechanisms incentivize students' information acquisition in the laboratory. While students' willingness to pay for information is significantly greater under the Immediate than the Deferred Acceptance mechanism, most students over-invest in information acquisition, especially when they are more curious or believe that others invest more. Additionally, some students never invest in information acquisition but benefit equally from information provision. Both free provision and costly acquisition of information on students' own preferences increase their payoffs and allocative efficiency, whereas provision of information that helps students better assessing admission chances reduces wasteful investments. Our results also suggest that agents' information preferences, such as curiosity, can play an important role in market design theory and policy.

Keywords: Information acquisition; Information provision; School choice; Experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C78 C92 D47 D82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2021.105345

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