A Measure to compare Matchings in Marriage Markets

Florian M. Biermann

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.

June, 2011
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