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Preference Structure and Random Paths to Stability in Matching Markets

  • James W. Boudreau

    (University of Connecticut)

This paper examines how preference correlation and intercorrelation combine to influence the length of a decentralized matching market's path to stability. In simulated experiments, marriage markets with various preference specifications begin at an arbitrary matching of couples and proceed toward stability via the random mechanism proposed by Roth and Vande Vate (1990). The results of these experiments reveal that fundamental preference characteristics are critical in predicting how long the market will take to reach a stable matching. In particular, intercorrelation and correlation are shown to have an exponential impact on the number of blocking pairs that must be randomly satisfied before stability is attained. The magnitude of the impact is dramatically different, however, depending on whether preferences are positively or negatively intercorrelated.

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File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2008-29.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2008-29.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2008-29
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Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/

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  1. Elliott Peranson & Alvin E. Roth, 1999. "The Redesign of the Matching Market for American Physicians: Some Engineering Aspects of Economic Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 748-780, September.
  2. Onur B. Celik & Vicki Knoblauch, 2007. "Marriage Matching with Correlated Preferences," Working papers 2007-16, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  3. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun S�nmez, 2005. "The Boston Public School Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 368-371, May.
  4. Fuhito Kojima & M. Ünver, 2008. "Random paths to pairwise stability in many-to-many matching problems: a study on market equilibration," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 473-488, March.
  5. Eeckhout, Jan, 1999. "Bilateral Search and Vertical Heterogeneity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 869-87, November.
  6. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth, 2005. "The New York City High School Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 364-367, May.
  7. Vicki Knoblauch, 2009. "Marriage matching and gender satisfaction," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 15-27, January.
  8. 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.
  9. Alvin E Roth, 2007. "Deferred Acceptance Algorithms: History, Theory, Practice, and Open Questions," Levine's Bibliography 843644000000000283, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Bettina Klaus & Flip Klijn, 2004. "Paths to Stability for Matching Markets with Couples," Working Papers 156, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. Kimmo Eriksson & Olle Häggström, 2008. "Instability of matchings in decentralized markets with various preference structures," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 409-420, March.
  13. Roth, Alvin E & Vande Vate, John H, 1990. "Random Paths to Stability in Two-Sided Matching," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1475-80, November.
  14. Chung-Piaw Teo & Jay Sethuraman & Wee-Peng Tan, 2001. "Gale-Shapley Stable Marriage Problem Revisited: Strategic Issues and Applications," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(9), pages 1252-1267, September.
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