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Unraveling Results from Comparable Demand and Supply: An Experimental Investigation

Author

Listed:
  • Muriel Niederle

    (Stanford University)

  • Alvin E. Roth

    (Harvard University)

  • M. Utku Ünver

    (Boston College)

Abstract

Markets sometimes unravel, with offers becoming inefficiently early. Often this is attributed to competition arising from an imbalance of demand and supply, typically excess demand for workers. However this presents a puzzle, since unraveling can only occur when firms are willing to make early offers and workers are willing to accept them. We present a model and experiment in which workers’ quality becomes known only in the late part of the market. However, in equilibrium, matching can occur (inefficiently) early only when there is comparable demand and supply: a surplus of applicants, but a shortage of high quality applicants.

Suggested Citation

  • Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth & M. Utku Ünver, 2008. "Unraveling Results from Comparable Demand and Supply: An Experimental Investigation," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 718, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:718
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    37. 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.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. When matching markets go crazy
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-06-09 13:34:00
    2. The Economic Logic of Anonymity and Pseudonymity
      by Al Roth in Market Design on 2009-06-12 12:22:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pablo Guillen & Rustamdjan Hakimov, 2017. "Not quite the best response: truth-telling, strategy-proof matching, and the manipulation of others," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(3), pages 670-686, September.
    2. Echenique, Federico & Pereyra, Juan Sebastián, 2016. "Strategic complementarities and unraveling in matching markets," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(1), January.
    3. Marie-Pierre Dargnies & Rustamdjan Hakimov & Dorothea Kübler, 2019. "Self-Confidence and Unraveling in Matching Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(12), pages 5603-5618, December.
    4. Konishi, Hideo & Sapozhnikov, Margarita, 2008. "Decentralized matching markets with endogenous salaries," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 193-218, September.
    5. Ambuehl, Sandro & Groves, Vivienne, 2020. "Unraveling over time," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 252-264.
    6. Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth, 2004. "Market Culture: How Norms Governing Exploding Offers Affect Market Performance," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000018, UCLA Department of Economics.
    7. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 3, pages 229-330, Elsevier.
    8. Chen, Wei-Cheng & Chen, Yi-Yi & Kao, Yi-Cheng, 2018. "Limited choice in college admissions: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 295-316.
    9. Sandro Ambuehl & Vivienne Groves, 2017. "Unraveling Over Time," CESifo Working Paper Series 6739, CESifo.
    10. Hakimov, Rustamdjan & Kübler, Dorothea, 2019. "Experiments On Matching Markets: A Survey," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 153, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    11. Siqi Pan, 2018. "Exploding offers and unraveling in two-sided matching markets," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 47(1), pages 351-373, March.
    12. Guillen, Pablo & Hakimov, Rustamdjan, 2014. "Monkey see, monkey do: Truth-telling in matching algorithms and the manipulation of others," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2014-202, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    13. repec:syd:wpaper:2123/9951 is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Matching; Unraveling; Experiments; Market Design; Labor Demand and Supply;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis

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