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American Economic Review: Vol. 89 No. 4 (September 1999)

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The Redesign of the Matching Market for American Physicians: Some Engineering Aspects of Economic Design

Article Citation

Roth, Alvin E., and Elliott Peranson. 1999. "The Redesign of the Matching Market for American Physicians: Some Engineering Aspects of Economic Design." American Economic Review, 89(4): 748-780.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.89.4.748

Abstract

We report on the design of the new clearinghouse adopted by the National Resident Matching Program, which annually fills approximately 20,000 jobs for new physicians. Because the market has complementarities between applicants and between positions, the theory of simple matching markets does not apply directly. However, computational experiments show the theory provides good approximations. Furthermore, the set of stable matchings, and the opportunities for strategic manipulation, are surprisingly small. A new kind of "core convergence" result explains this; that each applicant interviews only a small fraction of available positions is important. We also describe engineering aspects of the design process.

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Authors

Roth, Alvin E. (Harvard U)
Peranson, Elliott (National Matching Services, Inc)

JEL Classifications

J44: Professional Labor Markets; Occupational Licensing
C78: Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
I11: Analysis of Health Care Markets


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