Abstract

In the context of school choice, we experimentally study how behavior and outcomes are affected when, instead of submitting rankings in the student proposing or receiving deferred acceptance (DA) mechanism, participants 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, participants propose to schools respecting the order of their true preferences slightly more often than in its static version while, (b) in the dynamic student receiving DA mechanism, participants 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, for most problems we test, no significant differences exist between the two versions of the student proposing DA mechanisms in what stability and average payoffs are concerned, but the dynamic version of the student receiving DA mechanism delivers a clear improvement over its static counterpart in both dimensions. In fact, in the aggregate, the dynamic school proposing DA mechanism is the best performing mechanism.