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Harmful Signaling in Matching Markets

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  • Alexey Kushnir

    (Pennsylvania State University)

Abstract

Some labor markets have recently developed formal signalling mechanisms, e.g. the signalling for interviews in the job market for new Ph.D. economists. We evaluate the effect of such mechanisms on two-sided matching markets by considering a game of incomplete information between firms and workers. Workers have almost aligned preferences over firms: each worker has “typical” commonly known preferences with probability close to one and “atypical” idiosyncratic preferences with the complementary probability close to zero. Firms have some commonly known preferences over workers. We show that the introduction of a signalling mechanism is harmful for this environment. Though signals transmit previously unavailable information, they also facilitate information asymmetry that leads to coordination failures. As a result, the introduction of a signalling mechanism lessens the expected number of matches when signals are informative.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexey Kushnir, 2010. "Harmful Signaling in Matching Markets," Working Papers 2010.121, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.121
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Soohyung Lee & Muriel Niederle, 2015. "Propose with a rose? Signaling in internet dating markets," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 731-755, December.
    2. Peter Coles & Alexey Kushnir & Muriel Niederle, 2013. "Preference Signaling in Matching Markets," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 99-134, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Signaling; Cheaptalk; Matching;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

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