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Clearinghouses for Two-Sided Matching: An Experimental Study

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  • Alistair Wilson
  • Federico Echenique
  • Leeat Yariv

Abstract

We study the performance of two-sided matching clearinghouses in the laboratory. Our experimental design mimics the Gale-Shapley (1962) mechanism, utilized to match hospitals and interns, schools and pupils, etc., with an array of preference profiles. Several insights come out of our analysis. First, only 48% of the observed match outcomes are fully stable. Furthermore, among those markets ending at a stable outcome, a large majority culminates in the best stable matching for the receiving-side. Second, contrary to the theory, participants on the receiving-side of the algorithm rarely truncate their true preferences. In fact, it is the proposers who do not make offers in order of their preference, frequently skipping potential partners. Third, market characteristics affect behavior and outcomes: both the cardinal representation and the span of the core influence whether outcomes are stable or close to stable, as well as the number of turns it takes markets to converge to the final outcome.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 487.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision: Dec 2013
Handle: RePEc:pit:wpaper:487

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  1. Yan Chen & Tayfun Sönmez, 2004. "School Choice: An Experimental Study," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 622, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Pais, Joana & Pintér, Ágnes, 2008. "School choice and information: An experimental study on matching mechanisms," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 303-328, September.
  3. Haruvy, Ernan & Utku Unver, M., 2007. "Equilibrium selection and the role of information in repeated matching markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 284-289, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth & M. Utku Ünver, 2008. "Unraveling Results from Comparable Demand and Supply: An Experimental Investigation," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 718, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Braun, Sebastian & Dwenger, Nadja & Kübler, Dorothea & Westkamp, Alexander, 2012. "Implementing quotas in university admissions: An experimental analysis," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2012-201, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  3. Frank Hüber & Dorothea Kübler, 2011. "Hochschulzulassungen in Deutschland: Wem hilft die Reform durch das „Dialogorientierte Serviceverfahren“?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(4), pages 430-444, November.
  4. Guillen, Pablo & Hakimov, Rustamdjan, 2014. "Monkey see, monkey do: Truth-telling in matching algorithms and the manipulation of others," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2014-202, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

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