Tuesday October 17 in room A822 at 13:00
Title: Why Do We Lie to Incentive-Compatible Mechanisms? Evidence from Medical Students (with Sam Skowronek)



A great deal of care has gone into designing matching mechanisms that make it incentive compatible for participants to truthfully report their preferences. However, a growing body of work suggests that some market participants attempt to “game the system” in these settings, despite the futility of such efforts. To better understand the prevalence and causes of this behavior, we administer an incentivized online experiment to 1,714 medical students immediately after their participation in the 2017 residency match. Despite the residency match’s status as a flagship application of strategy-proof matching theory, we find that over 23% of the match participants in our sample act on an incorrect belief that the algorithm is manipulable. We explore the determinants of attempts to game the system, including attempts to overcome bad strategic positioning, strategic failures due to poor cognitive ability, mistakes driven by overconfidence, and reliance on imperfect advice.


This presentation will draw upon work from 3 papers (mostly the first):




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