Transparency in Centralised Allocation

76 Pages Posted: 5 May 2020

See all articles by Rustamdjan Hakimov

Rustamdjan Hakimov

WZB Berlin Social Science Center; University of Lausanne

Madhav Raghavan

Department of Economics, University of Lausanne

Date Written: March 30, 2020


Non-transparency in public allocation can be costly if participants doubt the legitimacy of their assignments. We provide practical ways to increase transparency in admissions, auctions and house allocation. We model transparency in terms of the information acquired by participants through both their first-hand experience of the mechanism and from direct communication from the designer. Our approach unites the use of both dynamic mechanisms as well as of published cutoffs and dropout prices. In a school admissions laboratory experiment, we vary the degree of transparency of deferred acceptance environments and use the correctness of subjects' appeal decisions as a novel experimental measure of transparency.

Keywords: Mechanism design, information, transparency, dynamic mechanisms, cutoffs, experiment

JEL Classification: C78, C73, D78, D82

Suggested Citation

Hakimov, Rustamdjan and Raghavan, Madhav, Transparency in Centralised Allocation (March 30, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Rustamdjan Hakimov

WZB Berlin Social Science Center ( email )

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin, 10785

University of Lausanne ( email )

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, 1016

Madhav Raghavan (Contact Author)

Department of Economics, University of Lausanne ( email )

Quartier UNIL-Chamberonne
Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015

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