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The Redesign of the Matching Market for American Physicians: Some Engineering Aspects of Economic Design

  • Elliott Peranson
  • Alvin E. Roth

We report on the design of the new clearinghouse adopted by the National Resident Matching Program, which annually fills approximately 20,000 jobs for new physicians. Because the market has complementarities between applicants and between positions, the theory of simple matching markets does not apply directly. However, computational experiments show the theory provides good approximations. Furthermore, the set of stable matchings, and the opportunities for strategic manipulation, are surprisingly small. A new kind of "core convergence" result explains this; that each applicant interviews only a small fraction of available positions is important. We also describe engineering aspects of the design process.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.89.4.748
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 89 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 748-780

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:89:y:1999:i:4:p:748-780
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.89.4.748
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  1. Roth, Alvin E & Vande Vate, John H, 1991. "Incentives in Two-Sided Matching with Random Stable Mechanisms," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 31-44, January.
  2. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1997. "Synergies in Wireless Telephony: Evidence from the Broadband PCS Auctions," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 497-527, 09.
  3. Roth, Alvin E., 1985. "The college admissions problem is not equivalent to the marriage problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 277-288, August.
  4. Roth, Alvin E & Xing, Xiaolin, 1994. "Jumping the Gun: Imperfections and Institutions Related to the Timing of Market Transactions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 992-1044, September.
  5. Charles R. Plott, 1997. "Laboratory Experimental Testbeds: Application to the PCS Auction," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 605-638, 09.
  6. Roth, Alvin E, 1986. "On the Allocation of Residents to Rural Hospitals: A General Property of Two-Sided Matching Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(2), pages 425-27, March.
  7. Sonmez, Tayfun, 1999. "Can Pre-arranged Matches Be Avoided in Two-Sided Matching Markets?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 148-156, May.
  8. Sonmez, Tayfun, 1997. "Manipulation via Capacities in Two-Sided Matching Markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 197-204, November.
  9. Roth, Alvin E, 1984. "The Evolution of the Labor Market for Medical Interns and Residents: A Case Study in Game Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 991-1016, December.
  10. Roth, Alvin E & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1989. "The College Admissions Problem Revisited," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 559-70, May.
  11. McMillan, John, 1995. "Why auction the spectrum?," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 191-199, April.
  12. Roth, Alvin E & Vande Vate, John H, 1990. "Random Paths to Stability in Two-Sided Matching," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1475-80, November.
  13. Roth, Alvin E, 1991. "A Natural Experiment in the Organization of Entry-Level Labor Markets: Regional Markets for New Physicians and Surgeons in the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 415-40, June.
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