NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Preference Signaling in Matching Markets

Peter Coles, Alexey Kushnir, Muriel Niederle

NBER Working Paper No. 16185
Issued in July 2010
NBER Program(s):   LS

Many labor markets share three stylized facts: employers cannot give full attention to all candidates, candidates are ready to provide information about their preferences for particular employers, and employers value and are prepared to act on this information. In this paper we study how a signaling mechanism, where each worker can send a signal of interest to one employer, facilitates matches in such markets. We find that introducing a signaling mechanism increases the welfare of workers and the number of matches, while the change in firm welfare is ambiguous. A signaling mechanism adds the most value for balanced markets.

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A data appendix is available at http://www.nber.org/data-appendix/w16185

This paper was revised on December 5, 2011

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16185

Published: Peter Coles & Alexey Kushnir & Muriel Niederle, 2013. "Preference Signaling in Matching Markets," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 99-134, May. citation courtesy of

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