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Optimal Truncation in Matching Markets

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  • Peter Coles

    (Harvard Business School)

  • Ran Shorrer

    (Harvard University and Harvard Business School)

Abstract

Since no stable matching mechanism can induce truth-telling as a dominant strategy for all participants, there is often room in matching markets for strategic misrepresentation (Roth [25]). In this paper we study a natural form of strategic misrepresentation: reporting a truncation of one's true preference list. Roth and Rothblum [28] prove an important but abstract result: in certain symmetric, incomplete information settings, agents on one side of the market (“the women”) optimally submit some truncation of their true preference lists. In this paper we put structure on this truncation, both in symmetric and general settings, when agents must submit preference lists to the Men-Proposing Deferred Acceptance Algorithm. We first characterize each woman's truncation payoffs in an incomplete information setting in terms of the distribution of her achievable mates. The optimal degree of truncation can be substantial: we prove that in a uniform setting, the optimal degree of truncation for an individual woman goes to 100% of her list as the market size grows large, when other women are truthful. In this setting, we demonstrate the existence of an equilibrium where all agents use truncation strategies. Compared to truthful reporting, in any equilibrium in truncation strategies, welfare diverges for men and women: women prefer the truncation equilibrium, while men would prefer that participants truthfully report. In a general environment, we show that the less risk averse a player, the greater the degree of her optimal truncation. Finally, when correlation in preferences increases, players should truncate less. While several recent papers have focused on the limits of strategic manipulation, our results serve as a reminder that without the pre-conditions ensuring truthful reporting, even in settings where agents have little information, the potential for manipulation can be significant.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Coles & Ran Shorrer, 2013. "Optimal Truncation in Matching Markets," Working Papers 2013.49, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2013.49
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter Coles & John Cawley & Phillip B. Levine & Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth & John J. Siegfried, 2010. "The Job Market for New Economists: A Market Design Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 187-206, Fall.
    2. Ehlers, Lars, 2004. "In search of advice for participants in matching markets which use the deferred-acceptance algorithm," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 249-270, August.
    3. 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.
    4. Ehlers, Lars & Masso, Jordi, 2007. "Incomplete information and singleton cores in matching markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 587-600, September.
    5. Itai Ashlagi & Flip Klijn, 2012. "Manipulability in matching markets: conflict and coincidence of interests," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 39(1), pages 23-33, June.
    6. 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 608-627, June.
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    8. Hideo Konishi & M. Ünver, 2006. "Games of Capacity Manipulation in Hospital-intern Markets," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 27(1), pages 3-24, August.
    9. Fuhito Kojima, 2006. "Mixed Strategies in Games of Capacity Manipulation in Hospital–Intern Markets," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 27(1), pages 25-28, August.
    10. Dzierzawa, Michael & Oméro, Marie-José, 2000. "Statistics of stable marriages," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 287(1), pages 321-333.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Robin S. Lee & Michael Schwarz, 2017. "Interviewing in two-sided matching markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 48(3), pages 835-855, August.
    14. Sonmez, Tayfun, 1997. "Manipulation via Capacities in Two-Sided Matching Markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 197-204, November.
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    17. Peter Coles & Yannai Gonczarowski & Ran Shorrer, 2014. "Strategic Behavior in Unbalanced Matching Markets," Working Paper 206481, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    18. Roth, Alvin E & Vande Vate, John H, 1991. "Incentives in Two-Sided Matching with Random Stable Mechanisms," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 1(1), pages 31-44, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Paula Jaramillo & Çaǧatay Kayı & Flip Klijn, 2014. "On the exhaustiveness of truncation and dropping strategies in many-to-many matching markets," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 42(4), pages 793-811, April.
    2. Braun, Sebastian & Dwenger, Nadja & Kübler, Dorothea & Westkamp, Alexander, 2014. "Implementing quotas in university admissions: An experimental analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 232-251.
    3. Assaf Romm, 2014. "Implications of capacity reduction and entry in many-to-one stable matching," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 43(4), pages 851-875, December.
    4. Janine Balter & Michela Rancan & Olena Senyuta, 2014. "Truncation in the Matching Markets and Market Ineffciency," RSCAS Working Papers 2014/04, European University Institute.
    5. Martin Van der linden, 2016. "Deferred acceptance is minimally manipulable," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 16-00019, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    6. Castillo, Marco & Dianat, Ahrash, 2016. "Truncation strategies in two-sided matching markets: Theory and experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 180-196.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Matching Markets; Truncation;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
    • D47 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Market Design
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis

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