Unraveling Reduces Mobility in a Labor Market: Gastroenterology with and without a Centralized Match
The entry-level market for American gastroenterologists was organized by a centralized clearinghouse from 1986 to 1996. Before, and since, it has been conducted via a decentralized market in which appointment dates have unraveled to well over a year before the start of employment. We find that, both before and after the years in which the centralized clearinghouse was used, gastroenterologists are less mobile and more likely to be employed at the same hospital in which they were internal medicine residents than when the clearinghouse was in use. This suggests that the clearinghouse not only coordinates the timing of appointments but also increases the scope of the market, compared to a decentralized market with early appointments.
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