Essays on Matching Markets and Their Equilibria
Utgoff, Naomi M.
Ausubel, Lawrence M
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Matching theory and matching markets are a core component of modern economic theory and market design. This dissertation presents three original contributions to this area. The first essay constructs a matching mechanism in an incomplete information matching market in which the positive assortative match is the unique efficient and unique stable match. The mechanism asks each agent in the matching market to reveal her privately known type. Through its novel payment rule, truthful revelation forms an ex post Nash equilibrium in this setting. This mechanism works in one-, two- and many-sided matching markets, thus offering the first mechanism to unify these matching markets under a single mechanism design framework. The second essay confronts a problem of matching in an environment in which no efficient and incentive compatible matching mechanism exists due to matching externalities. I develop a two-stage matching game in which a contracting stage facilitates subsequent conditionally efficient and incentive compatible Vickrey auction stage. Infinite repetition of this two-stage matching game enforces the contract in every period. This mechanism produces inequitably distributed social improvement: parties to the contract receive all of the gains and then some. The final essay demonstrates the existence of prices which stably and efficiently partition a single set of agents into firms and workers, and match those two sets to each other. This pricing system extends Kelso and Crawford's general equilibrium results in a labor market matching model and links one- and two-sided matching markets as well.