Matching and Anonymity

Daniela Puzzello, Purdue University


This dissertation provides theoretical underpinnings for exogenous matching frameworks. The ultimate goal is to improve our understanding of economies whose functioning is impaired by frictions of spatial, informational or institutional nature. Indeed, there is a well established research program in economics that deals with the efficiency of allocations in environments where trade is subject to frictions. The desire of making trading frictions explicit is often reflected in the assumption of matching and trading in small coalitions. Establishing a comprehensive approach to modeling matching is crucial because the economic literature's treatment of matching---intended as a technology---is mostly descriptive and hazily formalized. These shortcomings contribute to make cloudy the precise connections between the constraints imposed by the matching technology, the environmental frictions and the possible allocations. This study is organized into three chapters that provide a fully integrated theoretical approach to matching frameworks by applying set-theoretic concepts and other sophisticated tools of mathematical analysis. The first chapter is meant to lay the groundwork by considering as a point of reference any physical environment with technologies that exogenously pair agents in a deterministic manner. It is a first step in developing a unified framework to study matching processes in infinite horizon economies populated by an arbitrary set of infinitely lived agents. It formalizes the link between matching and informational constraints by developing a notion of anonymity that is based on agents' matching histories. Furthermore, it defines an exact map between properties of the matching process and the degrees of informational openness (i.e., the degrees of anonymity). The second and third chapters build on the first to explore matching and anonymity in richer environments. The second chapter formalizes the method of operation of multilateral matching. Finally, the third chapter analyzes random matching. By developing a comprehensive theoretical approach to matching, this study is an initial step in contributing to building more solid foundations for research centered around the study of allocations in decentralized trading environments.




Camera, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Economic theory

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