Static versus Dynamic Deferred Acceptance in School Choice: Theory and Experiment

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In the context of school choice, we experimentally study how behavior and outcomes are affected
when, instead ofsubmitting rankingsin the student‐‐proposing orschool‐‐proposing deferred acceptance (DA)
mechanism, students make decisions dynamically, going through the steps of the underlying algorithms. Our
main results show that, contrary to theory, (a) in the dynamic student‐‐proposing DA mechanism, students
propose to schools respecting the order of their true preferences slightly more often than in its static version
while, (b) in the dynamic school‐‐proposing DA mechanism, students react to proposals by always respecting
the order and not accepting schools in the tail of their true preferences more often than in the corresponding
static version. As a consequence, the dynamic mechanisms outperform their static counterparts in what
stability and average payoffs are concerned. In the aggregate, the dynamic school‐‐proposing DA mechanism
is the best performing mechanism.  

Marc Vorsatz UNED, Spain