Beyond the Spanish MIR with consent: (Hidden) cooperation and coordination in matching

José Alcalde


Sequential mechanisms to solve matching problems are useful to promote (hidden) cooperation between agents. Taking as a starting point the MIRC mechanism, employed in Spain to match medical students and residency programs in privately owned hospitals, we find that:
(1) In the current system, where the number of students that each program might enroll is limited, the single equilibrium allocation can be unstable.
(2) When the above limit is not (formally) imposed, instability is not expected to occur. Nevertheless, the multiplicity of equilibria shows that coordination failure might emerge, generating a social welfare loss.
(3) When the role of students and hospitals is reversed in the MIRC mechanism, (hidden) cooperation is guaranteed. Moreover, coordination failure disappears.

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Last update: October 2019