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

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  • Elliott Peranson
  • Alvin E. Roth

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Elliott Peranson & Alvin E. Roth, 1999. "The Redesign of the Matching Market for American Physicians: Some Engineering Aspects of Economic Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 748-780, September.
  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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 425-427, March.
    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, September.
    3. Roth, Alvin E & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1989. "The College Admissions Problem Revisited," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 559-570, May.
    4. 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, September.
    5. Roth, Alvin E & Vande Vate, John H, 1990. "Random Paths to Stability in Two-Sided Matching," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1475-1480, November.
    6. 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.
    7. 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 415-440, June.
    8. 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.
    9. McMillan, John, 1995. "Why auction the spectrum?," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 191-199, April.
    10. Sonmez, Tayfun, 1997. "Manipulation via Capacities in Two-Sided Matching Markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 197-204, November.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Roth, Alvin E & Vande Vate, John H, 1991. "Incentives in Two-Sided Matching with Random Stable Mechanisms," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 1(1), pages 31-44, January.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets

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