FEEM working papers "Note di lavoro" series
2011 .041

A Measure to Compare Matchings in Marriage Markets


Authors: Florian M. Biermann
Series: Climate Change and Sustainable Development
Editor: Carlo Carraro
Keywords: Stable Marriage Problem, Matching, Blocking Pair, Instability, Matching  Comparison, Decentralized Market, Bargaining Set
JEL n.: C0

Abstract

In matching markets the number of blocking pairs is often used as a criterion to compare matchings. We argue that this criterion is lacking an economic interpretation: In many circumstances it will neither reflect the expected extent of partner changes, nor will it capture the satisfaction of the players with the matching. As an alternative, we set up two principles which single out a particularly “disruptive” subcollection of blocking pairs. We propose to take the cardinality of that subset as a measure to compare matchings. This cardinality has an economic interpretation: the subset is a justified objection against the given matching according to a bargaining set characterization of the set of stable matchings. We prove multiple properties relevant for a workable measure of comparison.

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