Transparency and Fairness in School Choice Mechanisms

75 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2019

See all articles by Yoan Hermstrüwer

Yoan Hermstrüwer

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Bonn - Department of Law

Date Written: August 2019

Abstract

This article explores the impact of procedural information on the behavior of applicants under two of the most commonly used school admissions procedures: the Gale-Shapley mechanism and the Boston mechanism. In a lab experiment, I compare the impact of information about the mechanism, information about individually optimal application strategies, and information about both. I find that strategic and full information increase truth-telling and stability under the Gale-Shapley mechanism. Under the Boston mechanism, however, the adoption of equilibrium strategies remains unaffected. Contrary to prevailing assumptions in matching theory, I show that the Boston mechanism improves perceived fairness. These results underscore the importance of procedural information and suggest that eliminating justified envy may not be a sufficient condition of fairness.

Keywords: matching markets, school choice, transparency, fairness, law and market design

JEL Classification: C78, C92, D47, I20, K10

Suggested Citation

Hermstrüwer, Yoan, Transparency and Fairness in School Choice Mechanisms (August 2019). MPI Collective Goods Discussion Paper, No. 2019/11, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3468181 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3468181

Yoan Hermstrüwer (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

University of Bonn - Department of Law ( email )

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

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