Article | American Economic Journal: Microeconomics

Preference Signaling in Matching Markets


Many labor markets share three stylized facts: employers cannot give full attention to all candidates, candidates are ready to provide information about their preferences for particular employers, and employers value and are prepared to act on this information. In this paper we study how a signaling mechanism, where each worker can send a signal of interest to one employer, facilitates matches in such markets. We find that introducing a signaling mechanism increases the welfare of workers and the number of matches, while the change in firm welfare is ambiguous. A signaling mechanism adds the most value for balanced markets.

Keywords: signaling; matching; cheap talk; congestion; Market Design; Marketplace Matching; Communication; Job Search;


Coles, Peter A., Alexey Kushnir, and Muriel Niederle. "Preference Signaling in Matching Markets." American Economic Journal: Microeconomics 5, no. 2 (May 2013): 99–134.