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Is assortative matching efficient?

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  • Steven N. Durlauf
  • Ananth Seshadri

Abstract

This paper develops some general conditions under which complementarities between individual agents imply that assortative matching is efficient. Our analysis has four main findings. First, when agents are organized into equal-sized groups, just as in Becker (1973), the presence of within-group complementarities is sufficient for stratification to be efficient. Second, if group sizes vary, assortative matching may not be efficient even though complementarities are present, unless particular functional form assumptions are imposed. Third, the connection between assortative matching, complementarities and efficiency reemerges if one considers sequences of replications of the economy in which individual coalitions are uniformly bounded in size. Fourth, the presence of feedbacks from the composition of group memberships has important effects on efficient allocations and breaks any simple link between assortative matching and efficiency. Together, these results suggest that the characterization of the cross-section evolution of an efficiently sorted economy is likely to be highly complex. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 21 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (03)
Pages: 475-493

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:21:y:2003:i:2:p:475-493

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Related research

Keywords: Keywords and Phrases: Assortative matching; Matching models.; JEL Classification Numbers: J41.;

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References

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  1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  2. William A. Brock, 1993. "Pathways to randomness in the economy: Emergent nonlinearity and chaos in economics and finance," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 8(1), pages 3-55.
  3. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michael Kremer & Eric Maskin, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1777, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
  7. Durlauf, Steven N, 1993. "Nonergodic Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 349-66, April.
  8. Ionnides, Yannis M, 1990. "Trading Uncertainty and Market Form," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(3), pages 619-38, August.
  9. Kremer, M & Maskin, E, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation by Skill," Working papers 96-23, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Gary S. Murphy Becker & Kevin M., 1992. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 79, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  11. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S11-S26, Part II, .
  12. Glenn C. Loury, 1976. "A Dynamic Theory of Racial Income Differences," Discussion Papers 225, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  13. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
  14. Roland Benabou, 1991. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," NBER Technical Working Papers 0113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Steven N. Durlauf & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2009. "Social Interactions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0739, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  2. Rege, Mari, 2008. "Why do people care about social status?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 233-242, May.

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