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Transparency and Fairness in School Choice Mechanisms


Hermstrüwer,  Yoan
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Hermstrüwer, Y. (2019). Transparency and Fairness in School Choice Mechanisms.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-694D-1
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 sucient condition of fairness.