Timing in Dynamic Matching Markets: Theory and Evidence
50 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2022
Date Written: March 27, 2022
We study a two sided one-to-one matching model with two periods in which agents decide to match early and exit in the first period, or to wait and search for more agents to find a match in the second period, where a stable matching is implemented for those who remain in the market. The distribution of the quality of a potential match varies over time as some agents who have found mutually agreeable matches exit the market. We show that in equilibrium: (i) similar and relatively high type pairs match early, (ii) the probability of matching early is a non-monotonic function of type, and (iii) markets do not necessarily unravel even if each meeting is costly and agents have the option to make exploding offers. We also designed experiments with real time interactions to test our theoretical predictions and provide an extensive analysis of early matching incentives in a dynamic matching environment. In the experiments, we turn on and off the possibility of matching with partners from previous periods and vary the cost of meeting in each period. We find that the results are in line with our theoretical predictions.
Keywords: Matching, incomplete information, stability, unraveling, experiments
JEL Classification: C72, C78, C90, D82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation