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The Effects of a Centralized Clearinghouse on Job Placement, Wages, and Hiring Practices

In: Studies of Labor Market Intermediation

  • Muriel Niederle
  • Alvin E. Roth

New gastroenterologists participated in a labor market clearinghouse (a "match") from 1986 through the late 1990's, after which the match was abandoned. This provides an opportunity to study the effects of a match, by observing the differences in the outcomes and organization of the market when a match was operating, and when it was not. After the GI match ended, the market unraveled. Contracts were signed earlier each year, at diffuse times, often with exploding offers. The market became less national, more local. This allows us to discern the effect of the clearinghouse: it coordinated the timing of the market, in a way that increased its thickness and scope. The clearinghouse does not seem to have had an effect on wages. As this became known among gastroenterologists, an opportunity arose to reorganize the market to once again use a centralized clearinghouse. However it proved necessary to adopt policies that would allow employers to safely delay hiring and coordinate on using the clearinghouse. The market for gastroenterologists provides a case study of market failures, the way a centralized clearinghouse can fix them, and the effects on market outcomes. In the conclusion we discuss aspects of the experience of the gastroenterology labor market that seem to generalize fairly widely.

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This chapter was published in:
  • David H. Autor, 2009. "Studies of Labor Market Intermediation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number auto07-1.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 3583.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:3583
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Segal, Ilya, 2007. "The communication requirements of social choice rules and supporting budget sets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 341-378, September.
    2. Roth, Alvin, 2008. "What Have We Learned from Market Design?," Scholarly Articles 2579650, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Roth, Alvin E. & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1992. "Two-sided matching," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 485-541 Elsevier.
    4. Kelso, Alexander S, Jr & Crawford, Vincent P, 1982. "Job Matching, Coalition Formation, and Gross Substitutes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1483-1504, November.
    5. McKinney, C. Nicholas & Niederle, Muriel & Roth, Alvin, 2005. "The collapse of a medical labor clearinghouse (and why such failures are rare)," Scholarly Articles 2570404, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. 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.
    7. Muriel Niederle, 2007. "Competitive Wages in a Match with Ordered Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1957-1969, December.
    8. Guillaume Frechette & Alvin E. Roth & M. Utku Ünver, 2004. "Unraveling Yields Inefficient Matchings: Evidence from Post- Season College Football Bowls," Microeconomics 0404001, EconWPA, revised 24 Sep 2004.
    9. 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.
    10. Ernan Haruvy & Alvin E. Roth & M. Utku Unver, 2004. "The Dynamics of Law Clerk Matching: An Experimental and Computational Investigation of Proposals for Reform of the Market," Experimental 0404001, EconWPA.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Alvin E. Roth, 2006. "Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets," NBER Working Papers 12702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Fuhito Kojima, 2007. "Matching and Price Competition: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 1027-1031, June.
    15. Fuhito Kojima & Parag A. Pathak, 2009. "Incentives and Stability in Large Two-Sided Matching Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 608-27, June.
    16. Bulow, Jeremy I. & Levin, Jonathan, 2003. "Matching and Price Competition," Research Papers 1818, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth, 2005. "The Gastroenterology Fellowship Market: Should There Be a Match?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 372-375, May.
    21. Halaburda, Hanna, 2010. "Unravelling in two-sided matching markets and similarity of preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 365-393, July.
    22. Alvin E Roth & Muriel Niederle, 2007. "Making Markets Thick: Designing Rules for Offers and Acceptances," Levine's Bibliography 843644000000000142, UCLA Department of Economics.
    23. 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.
    24. 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.
    25. Li, Hao & Rosen, Sherwin, 1998. "Unraveling in Matching Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 371-87, June.
    26. 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.
    27. Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth, 2003. "Unraveling Reduces Mobility in a Labor Market: Gastroenterology with and without a Centralized Match," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1342-1352, December.
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