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The Theory of Assortative Matching Based on Costly Signals

  • Hoppe, Heidrun C.
  • Moldovanu, Benny
  • Sela, Aner

We study two-sided markets with a finite numbers of agents on each side, and with two-sided incomplete information. Agents are matched assortatively on the basis of costly signals. A main goal is to identify conditions under which the potential increase in expected output due to assortative matching (relative to random matching) is completely offset by the costs of signalling. We also study how the signalling activity and welfare on each side of the market change when we vary the number of agents and the distribution of their attributes, thereby displaying effects that are particular to small markets. Finally, we look at the continuous version of our two-sided market model and establish the connections to the finite version. Technically, the paper is based on the very elegant theory about stochastic ordering of (normalized) spacings and other linear combinations of order statistics from distributions with monotone failure rates, pioneered by R. Barlow and F. Proschan (1966, 1975) in the framework of reliability theory.

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Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 85.

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Date of creation: Dec 2005
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:85
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  4. Robert M. Costrell & Glenn C. Loury, 2004. "Distribution of Ability and Earnings in a Hierarchical Job Assignment Model," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-135, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  5. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes Quisumbing, 2000. "Assets at marriage in rural Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-28, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  6. Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
  7. Ed Hopkins, 2006. "Job Market Signalling of Relative Position, or Becker Married to Spence," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000553, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Wing Suen, 2005. "The Comparative Statics of Differential Rents in Two-Sided Matching Markets," Departmental Working Papers _172, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
  9. Chao, Hung-po & Wilson, Robert, 1987. "Priority Service: Pricing, Investment, and Market Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 899-916, December.
  10. Kelso, Alexander S, Jr & Crawford, Vincent P, 1982. "Job Matching, Coalition Formation, and Gross Substitutes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1483-1504, November.
  11. Leonardo Felli & Kevin Roberts, 2011. "Does Competition Solve the Hold-up Problem?," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series /2011/561, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  12. Raquel Fernandez & Jordi Gali, 1997. "To Each According To...? Markets, Tournaments, and the Matching Problem with Borrowing Constraints," NBER Working Papers 5930, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Wilson, Robert B, 1989. "Efficient and Competitive Rationing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(1), pages 1-40, January.
  14. Axel Anderson & Lones Smith, 2006. "Assortative Matching and Reputation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1553, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  15. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  16. Mo, Jie-Ping, 1988. "Entry and structures of interest groups in assignment games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 66-96, October.
  17. Kittsteiner, Thomas & Moldovanu, Benny, 2004. "Priority Auctions and Queue Disciplines that Depend on Processing Time," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 5, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  18. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
  19. Crawford, Vincent P., 1991. "Comparative statics in matching markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 389-400, August.
  20. Hu, Taizhong & Wei, Ying, 2001. "Stochastic comparisons of spacings from restricted families of distributions," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 91-99, May.
  21. Harold L. Cole & George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, . "Efficient Non-Contractible Investments," Penn CARESS Working Papers 08d6793d32cab8f6e1f46dac0, Penn Economics Department.
  22. Roth, Alvin E. & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1992. "Two-sided matching," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 485-541 Elsevier.
  23. Khaledi, Baha-Eldin & Kochar, Subhash, 1999. "Stochastic orderings between distributions and their sample spacings - II," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 161-166, August.
  24. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 1999. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-75, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  25. Tjalling C. Koopmans & Martin J. Beckmann, 1955. "Assignment Problems and the Location of Economic Activities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 4, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  26. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  27. Ed Hopkins & Tatiana Kornienko, 2006. "Which Inequality? The Inequality of Resources Versus the Inequality of Rewards," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000621, UCLA Department of Economics.
  28. Kochar, Subhash C., 1999. "On stochastic orderings between distributions and their sample spacings," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 345-352, May.
  29. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-80, June.
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