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Unraveling yields inefficient matchings: evidence from post-season college football bowls

  • Guillaume R. Fréchette
  • Alvin E. Roth
  • M. Utku Ünver

Many markets have “unraveled†and experienced inefficient, early, dispersed transactions, and subsequently developed institutions to delay transaction timing. It has previously proved difficult, however, to measure and identify the resulting efficiency gains. Prior to 1992, college football teams were matched for post-season play up to several weeks before the end of the regular season. Since 1992, the market has reorganized to postpone this matching. We show that the matching of teams affects efficiency as measured by the resulting television viewership, and that the reorganization promoted more efficient matching, chiefly as a result of the increased ability of later matching to produce “championship†games.

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Article provided by RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 38 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 967-982

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Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:38:y:2007:i:4:p:967-982
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  1. M. Utku Unver, 1999. "Backward Unraveling over Time: The Evolution of Strategic Behavior in the Entry-Level British Medical Labor Markets," Game Theory and Information 9907001, EconWPA, revised 16 Jul 1999.
  2. Li, Hao & Rosen, Sherwin, 1998. "Unraveling in Matching Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 371-87, June.
  3. 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.
  4. John H. Kagel & Alvin E. Roth, 2000. "The Dynamics Of Reorganization In Matching Markets: A Laboratory Experiment Motivated By A Natural Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 201-235, February.
  5. Wing Suen, 2000. "A Competitive Theory of Equilibrium and Disequilibrium Unravelling in Two-Sided Matching," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(1), pages 101-120, Spring.
  6. Hao Li & Wing Suen, 2004. "Self-Fulfilling Early-Contracting Rush," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(1), pages 301-324, 02.
  7. Hao Li & Wing Suen, 2000. "Risk Sharing, Sorting, and Early Contracting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 1058-1087, October.
  8. Christopher Avery & Christine Jolls & Richard Posner & Alvin E. Roth, 2007. "The New Market for Federal Judicial Law Clerks," NBER Working Papers 13213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Posner, Richard A. & Avery, Christopher & Jolls, Christine & Roth, Alvin, 2001. "The Market for Federal Judicial Law Clerks," Scholarly Articles 2623748, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  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.
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