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Cognitive Ability and Games of School Choice

Christian Basteck () and Marco Mantovani ()

No 343, Working Papers from University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics

Abstract: We take school admission mechanisms to the lab to test whether the manipulable Boston mechanism disadvantages students of lower cognitive ability and whether this leads to ability segregation across schools. Results show this is the case: lower ability participants receive a lower average payoff and are over-represented at the worst school. Under the strategy-proof Deferred Acceptance mechanism, payoff differences between high and low ability participants are reduced, and distributions by ability across schools are harmonized. Hence, we find support for the argument that a move to strategy-proof mechanisms would “level the playing field†. However, we document a trade-off between equality and efficiency in the choice of school admission mechanisms since average payoffs are larger under Boston than under Deferred Acceptance.

Keywords: laboratory experiment; school choice; strategy-proofness; cognitive ability; mechanism design (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C78 C91 D82 I24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-edu, nep-exp, nep-gth, nep-neu and nep-ure
Date: 2016-06-21, Revised 2016-06-21
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (9) Track citations by RSS feed

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Related works:
Journal Article: Cognitive ability and games of school choice (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Cognitive Ability and Games of School Choice (2016) Downloads
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