IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Harmful signaling in matching markets

  • Alexey Kushnir

Some labor markets have recently developed formal signaling mechanisms, e.g. the signaling for interviews in the job market for new Ph.D. economists. We evaluate the effect of such mechanisms on two-sided matching markets by considering a game of incomplete information between firms and workers. Workers have almost aligned preferences over firms: each worker has 'typical' commonly known preferences with probability close to one and 'atypical' idiosyncratic preferences with the complementary probability close to zero. Firms have commonly known preferences over workers. We show that the introduction of a signaling mechanism is harmful for this environment. Though signals transmit previously unavailable information, they also facilitate information asymmetry that leads to coordination failures. As a result, the introduction of a signaling mechanism lessens the expected number of matches when signals are informative.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 509.

in new window

Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:509
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Schönberggasse 1, CH-8001 Zürich

Phone: +41-1-634 21 37
Fax: +41-1-634 49 82
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & PELEG, Bezalel, . "Ordinal Bayesian incentive compatible representations of committees," CORE Discussion Papers RP 808, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. 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.
  3. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sobel, Joel., 1985. "Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games," Working Papers 565, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  4. Peter Coles & Alexey Kushnir & Muriel Niederle, 2010. "Preference Signaling in Matching Markets," NBER Working Papers 16185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Philipp Kircher, 2009. "Efficiency of simultaneous search," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 29703, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. lones smith & hector chade, 2004. "simultaneous search," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 64, Econometric Society.
  7. 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.
  8. Farrell, Joseph & Gibbons, Robert, 1988. "Cheap Talk Can Matter in Bargaining," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3qz786xq, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  9. Alcalde, Jose & Romero-Medina, Antonio, 2000. "Simple Mechanisms to Implement the Core of College Admissions Problems," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 294-302, May.
  10. Pais, Joana, 2008. "Incentives in decentralized random matching markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 632-649, November.
  11. Guillaume Haeringer & Myrna Wooders, 2003. "Decentralized job matching," Working Papers 40, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  12. Roth, Alvin, 2008. "What Have We Learned from Market Design?," Scholarly Articles 2579650, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  14. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  15. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Yeon-Koo Che & Yosuke Yasuda, 2010. "Expanding “Choice” in School Choice," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000062, David K. Levine.
  16. Alcalde, Jose & Perez-Castrillo, David & Romero-Medina, Antonio, 1998. "Hiring Procedures to Implement Stable Allocations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 469-480, October.
  17. Christopher Avery & Jonathan D. Levin, 2009. "Early Admissions at Selective Colleges," NBER Working Papers 14844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Alcalde, Jose, 1996. "Implementation of Stable Solutions to Marriage Problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 240-254, April.
  19. Bogomolnaia, Anna & Moulin, Herve, 2001. "A New Solution to the Random Assignment Problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 295-328, October.
  20. Alvin E Roth, 2007. "Deferred Acceptance Algorithms: History, Theory, Practice, and Open Questions," Levine's Bibliography 843644000000000283, UCLA Department of Economics.
  21. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:509. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marita Kieser)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.