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Published July 2016 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Clearinghouses for two-sided matching: An experimental study


We experimentally study the Gale and Shapley, 1962 mechanism, which is utilized in a wide set of applications, most prominently the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Several insights come out of our analysis. First, only 48% of our observed outcomes are stable, and among those a large majority culminate at the receiver-optimal stable matching. Second, receivers rarely truncate their true preferences: it is the proposers who do not make offers in order of their preference, frequently skipping potential partners. Third, market characteristics affect behavior: both the cardinal representation and core size influence whether laboratory outcomes are stable. We conclude by using our controlled results and a behavioral model to shed light on a number of stylized facts we derive from new NRMP survey and outcome data, and to explain the small cores previously documented for the NRMP.

Additional Information

Copyright © 2016 Federico Echenique, Alistair J. Wilson, and Leeat Yariv. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes. Submitted September, 2014. Final version accepted September, 2015. Co-editor Karl Schmedders handled this manuscript. We are thankful to the following people for their help and advice: Caterina Calsamiglia, Clayton Featherstone, Guillaume Fréchette, Andy Schotter, Emanuel Vespa, Walter Yuan, a co-editor, and three anonymous referees. We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation (Grant SES 0963583), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (Grant 1158), and the Lee Center at Caltech.

Attached Files

Published - Echenique_et_al-2016-Quantitative_Economics.pdf

Supplemental Material - quan148-sup-0001-Supplement.pdf


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August 20, 2023
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