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Decentralized Matching Markets: A Laboratory Experiment


  • Joana Pais
  • Agnes Pinter
  • Robert F. Veszteg


We report data from controlled laboratory experiments on two-sided matching markets in which participants interact in a decentralized way, without having to refer to a central clearinghouse. Our treatments have been designed to evaluate the effect of information, search costs, and binding agreements on the final outcome and also on the individual strategies that lead to it. We find that these features affect the level and pace of market activity as well as the identity of those who receive proposals. While the lack of information alone does not reduce stability or efficiency, its combination with search costs can be detrimental.

Suggested Citation

  • Joana Pais & Agnes Pinter & Robert F. Veszteg, 2012. "Decentralized Matching Markets: A Laboratory Experiment," Working Papers Department of Economics 2012/08, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp082012

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter Wierts, 2008. "How do Expenditure Rules affect Fiscal Behaviour?," DNB Working Papers 166, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    2. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
    3. Andreas Bergh & Magnus Henrekson, 2011. "Government Size And Growth: A Survey And Interpretation Of The Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5), pages 872-897, December.
    4. Roel Beetsma & Massimo Giuliodori, 2010. "Discretionary Fiscal Policy: Review and Estimates for the EU," CESifo Working Paper Series 2948, CESifo Group Munich.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Hugh-Jones & David Reinstein, 2010. "Losing Face," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-068, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:145:y:2018:i:c:p:567-591 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Newton, Jonathan & Sawa, Ryoji, 2015. "A one-shot deviation principle for stability in matching problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 1-27.
    4. Péter Biró & Gethin Norman, 2013. "Analysis of stochastic matching markets," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 42(4), pages 1021-1040, November.
    5. Alessandra Casella & Thomas Palfrey, 2015. "Trading Votes for Votes. A Decentralized Matching Algorithm," NBER Working Papers 21645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Agranov, M. & Elliott, M., 2017. "Commitment and (In)Efficiency: A Bargaining Experiment," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1743, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    7. repec:esx:essedp:769 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    decentralized matching; experiments; stability; two-sided matching;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design


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