The Roommate Problem Is More Stable than You Think
28 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2012 Last revised: 6 Aug 2012
Date Written: August 4, 2012
Stable matchings may fail to exist in the roommate matching problem, both when utility is transferable and when it is not. We show that when utility is transferable, the existence of a stable matching is restored when there is an even number of individuals of indistinguishable characteristics and tastes (types). As a consequence, when the number of individuals of any given type is large enough there always exist quasi-stable matchings: a stable matching can be restored with minimal policy intervention. Our results build on an analogy with an associated bipartite problem; it follows that the tools crafted in empirical studies of the marriage problem can easily be adapted to the roommate problem.
Keywords: matching, roommate problem, stability
JEL Classification: C78
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation