An Experiment on Pareto-Efficiency and Communication in the Gale-Shapley School Choice Mechanism

Hall, Amy (2017) An Experiment on Pareto-Efficiency and Communication in the Gale-Shapley School Choice Mechanism. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Mark Van Boening from Economics, The University of Mississippi.

Amy thesis full draft (with appendices).pdf

Download (651kB) | Preview


The past few decades have seen an increase in the debate and discussion of school choice, and recent literature has focused on mechanism design approaches to satisfy that choice. The literature includes experimental studies of these mechanisms. I conduct an experiment that examines the Gale-Shapley mechanism. This mechanism considers the rankings by parents and students of their preferred schools as well as the schools’ priorities for students (based primarily on district or walk-zones) and uses a unique algorithm to produce student-school matchings. My experimental design is based primarily on that of “Chinese College Admissions and School Choice Reforms: An Experimental Study” (Chen and Kesten, 2016). I specifically attempt to answer a question raised in their findings about tacit coordination between participants to reach an unstable Pareto-efficient equilibrium. I allow experienced subjects to communicate during the experiment via electronic chat. I am interested in seeing if this communication can facilitate explicit coordination and consistently achieve this Pareto-efficient outcome. I find that experience combined with the chat feature do not seem to significantly affect participants’ ability to coordinate towards the Pareto-efficient outcome, and consistently reaching this outcome is difficult to facilitate.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Hall, Amy
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. in Economics and Public Policy Leadership
Thesis Advisor: Mark Van Boening
Thesis Advisor's Department: Economics
Institution: The University of Mississippi
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Depositing User: Ms. Amy Hall
Date Deposited: 11 May 2017 19:44
Last Modified: 11 May 2017 19:44

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item