Facilitating the Search for Partners on Matching Platforms: Restricting Agent Actions

2/23/2017 | 4:15pm | E51-335
Reception to follow.





Yash Kanoria

Assistant Professor
Columbia University

Abstract: Two-sided matching platforms, such as those for labor, accommodation, dating, and taxi hailing, control many aspects of the search for partners. We consider a dynamic model of search with costly discovery of match value and find that in many settings, the platform can mitigate wasteful competition in partner search via restricting what agents can see/do. For medium-sized screening costs (relative to idiosyncratic variation in utilities), the platform should prevent one side of the market from exercising choice (similar to Instant Book on Airbnb), whereas for large screening costs, the platform should centrally determine matches (similar to taxi hailing marketplaces). Surprisingly, restrictions can improve social welfare even when screening costs are small. In asymmetric markets where agents on one side are more selective, the platform should force the more selective side of the market to reach out first, by explicitly disallowing the less selective side from doing so. This allows the agents on the less selective side to exercise more choice in equilibrium.

Joint work with Daniela Saban.

Bio: Yash Kanoria is an Assistant Professor in Decision, Risk and Operations at Columbia Business School, working primarily on matching markets and the design and operations of marketplaces. Previously, he obtained a BTech from IIT Bombay in 2007, a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford in 2012, and spent a year at Microsoft Research New England during 2012-13 as a Schramm postdoctoral fellow. He received an NSF CAREER Award in 2017, and an INFORMS JFIG paper competition second prize in 2014

Event Time: 

2017 - 16:15