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Matching through position auctions


  • Johnson, T.R.


Using a mechanism design framework, we characterize how a profit-maximizing intermediary can design matching markets when each agent is privately informed about his quality as a partner. Sufficient conditions are provided that ensure a version of positive assortative matching (what we call truncated positive assortative matching) maximizes profits. Under these conditions, all-pay position auctions always implement the profit-maximizing allocation. Winners-pay position auctions, however, only do so in sufficiently large markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Johnson, T.R., 2013. "Matching through position auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(4), pages 1700-1713.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:148:y:2013:i:4:p:1700-1713 DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2013.04.009

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Board, Simon, 2009. "Monopolistic group design with peer effects," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 4(1), March.
    2. Benjamin Edelman & Michael Ostrovsky & Michael Schwarz, 2007. "Internet Advertising and the Generalized Second-Price Auction: Selling Billions of Dollars Worth of Keywords," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 242-259, March.
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    6. Heidrun C. Hoppe & Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2009. "The Theory of Assortative Matching Based on Costly Signals," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 253-281.
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    8. Ettore Damiano & Hao Li, 2007. "Price discrimination and efficient matching," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 30(2), pages 243-263, February.
    9. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 11-26, Part II, .
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    Cited by:

    1. Hafalir, Isa & Miralles, Antonio, 2015. "Welfare-maximizing assignment of agents to hierarchical positions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 253-270.
    2. Gomes, Renato & Pavan, Alessandro, 2016. "Many-to-many matching and price discrimination," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(3), September.
    3. Widmer, Tobias & Leukel, Joerg, 2016. "Efficiency of electronic service allocation with privately known quality," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 255(3), pages 856-868.
    4. Dizdar, Deniz & Moldovanu, Benny, 2016. "On the importance of uniform sharing rules for efficient matching," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 106-123.
    5. Trégouët, Thomas, 2015. "Gender-based price discrimination in matching markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 34-45.

    More about this item


    Matching; Auctions; Mechanism design; Intermediation;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation


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