NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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

Alvin E. Roth, Elliott Peranson

NBER Working Paper No. 6963
Issued in February 1999
NBER Program(s):   HE   LS

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 in the United States. Because that market exhibits many complementarities between applicants and between positions, the theory of simple matching markets does not apply directly. However, computational experiments reveal that the theory provides a good approximation, and furthermore the set of stable matchings, and the opportunities for strategic manipulation, are surprisingly small. A new kind of core convergence' result is presented to explain this; the fact that each applicant can interview for only a small fraction of available positions is important. We also describe in detail engineering aspects of the design process.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w6963

Published: American Economic Review, Vol. 89, no. 4 (September 1999): 748-780.

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