Article | Quarterly Journal of Economics | 2013

Matching with Couples: Stability and Incentives in Large Markets

by Fuhito Kojima, Parag A. Pathak and Alvin E. Roth

Abstract

Accommodating couples has been a long-standing issue in the design of centralized labor market clearinghouses for doctors and psychologists, because couples view pairs of jobs as complements. A stable matching may not exist when couples are present. This article’s main result is that a stable matching exists when there are relatively few couples and preference lists are sufficiently short relative to market size. We also discuss incentives in markets with couples. We relate these theoretical results to the job market for psychologists, in which stable matchings exist for all years of the data, despite the presence of couples.

Keywords: Market Design; Marketplace Matching; Balance and Stability; Jobs and Positions; Family and Family Relationships; Health Care and Treatment; Employment Industry; Health Industry;

Citation:

Kojima, Fuhito, Parag A. Pathak, and Alvin E. Roth. "Matching with Couples: Stability and Incentives in Large Markets." Quarterly Journal of Economics 128, no. 4 (2013): 1585–1632.