Matching Rules

31 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2006

See all articles by Vincy Fon

Vincy Fon

George Washington University - Department of Economics

Francesco Parisi

University of Minnesota - Law School; University of Bologna


Institutions often utilize matching rules to facilitate the achievement of cooperative outcomes. Yet, in some situations the equilibrium induced by a matching rule may not be socially optimal. After presenting the case in which matching rules yield privately and socially optimal levels of cooperation, this paper identifies the conditions under which they would instead generate inefficient cooperation. Two groups of cases are presented. In one group matching rules undershoot (i.e., the parties cooperate less than is socially optimal). In the other, more puzzling case, matching rules overshoot (i.e., the parties that interact under a matching constraint are induced to cooperate more than is socially optimal). This paper identifies the conditions for such occurrences. The paper then examines the ability of a matching rule to induce a socially optimal level of cooperation, where a social optimum requires equal levels of effort by the two parties, and identifies situations where matching rules fail to induce such an optimum.

Keywords: Conditions for social optimum, Cooperation, Matching rules

JEL Classification: C7, D70, K10, Z13

Suggested Citation

Fon, Vincy and Parisi, Francesco, Matching Rules. Managerial and Decision Economics, Forthcoming, George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 06-03 , Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 24, Available at SSRN:

Vincy Fon (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Department of Economics ( email )

2115 G Street, N.W.
Monroe Hall, #366
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-7580 (Phone)
202-994-6147 (Fax)

Francesco Parisi

University of Minnesota - Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 1
40126 Bologna, fc 47100

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics