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Truncation in the Matching Markets and Market Ineffciency

  • Janine Balter
  • Michela Rancan
  • Olena Senyuta

In this paper, we study the Ph.D academic job market. Based on the Gale and Shapley algorithm, we analyse whether a social planner can improve market efficiency by truncation, i.e., exogenously imposing a limit on the number of possible applications. Using simulations, we derive the optimal truncation level which balances the trade-off between being unmatched and gaining a better match in the aggregate. When graduates apply to their most preferred positions, we find that aggregate efficiency can be improved by limiting the number of applications. In particular, the limit can be considerable if the graduates' preferences over the positions are not very correlated. The derived limit is still the best one when graduates respond strategically (applying to universities which are at least individually most preferred at the expenses of those most preferred commonly) in a conservative sense: given the strategic behaviour of the graduates, the market efficiency can be further improved by choosing an even lower limit on the number of applications. Overall, this paper suggests a direction to improve the matching market for Ph.D. candidates by improving the quality of their matches and lowering the hiring costs for universities.

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Paper provided by European University Institute in its series RSCAS Working Papers with number 2014/04.

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Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rsc:rsceui:2014/04
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  1. Yan Chen & Tayfun Sönmez, 2004. "School Choice: An Experimental Study," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 622, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Peter Coles & Alexey Kushnir & Muriel Niederle, 2010. "Preference Signaling in Matching Markets," NBER Working Papers 16185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Parag A. Pathak & Tayfun Sönmez, 2013. "School Admissions Reform in Chicago and England: Comparing Mechanisms by Their Vulnerability to Manipulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 80-106, February.
  4. Flip Klijn & Joana Pais & Marc Vorsatz, 2010. "Preference Intensities and Risk Aversion in School Choice: A Laboratory Experiment," Harvard Business School Working Papers 10-093, Harvard Business School.
  5. James W. Boudreau & Vicki Knoblauch, 2010. "Marriage Matching and Intercorrelation of Preferences," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(3), pages 587-602, 06.
  6. Caterina Calsamiglia & Guillaume Haeringer & Flip Klijn, 2008. "Constrained School Choice: An Experimental Study," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 757.08, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  7. Sebastian Braun & Nadja Dwenger & Dorothea Kübler, 2007. "Telling the Truth May Not Pay Off: An Empirical Study of Centralised University Admissions in Germany," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2007-070, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  8. Christopher Avery & Jonathan Levin, 2009. "Early Admission at Selective Colleges," Discussion Papers 08-031, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  9. Ettore Damiano & Hao Li, 2007. "Price discrimination and efficient matching," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 243-263, February.
  10. Coles, Peter Andrew & Levine, Phillip B. & Roth, Alvin E. & Cawley, John & Niederle, Muriel & Siegfried, John J., 2010. "The Job Market for New Economists: A Market Design Perspective," Scholarly Articles 5343168, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Peter Coles & Ran Shorrer, 2013. "Optimal Truncation in Matching Markets," Working Papers 2013.49, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  12. Alvin E. Roth & Uriel G. Rothblum, 1999. "Truncation Strategies in Matching Markets--In Search of Advice for Participants," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 21-44, January.
  13. Caldarelli, G. & Capocci, A., 2001. "Beauty and distance in the stable marriage problem," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 300(1), pages 325-331.
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