Dynamic Matching in Overloaded Waiting Lists

72 Pages Posted: 13 May 2017 Last revised: 2 Sep 2021

Date Written: September 1, 2021


Commonly used waiting list mechanisms allocate items by offering agents a choice between items and associated expected waiting times. Because the expected waiting times fluctuate over time, different agents may face different waiting times, potentially resulting in misallocation of items. In a stylized model of overloaded waiting lists, we show that welfare is maximized by maximizing the value of assigned items and derive expressions for welfare loss from fluctuations. A simple randomized assignment policy can decrease expected wait fluctuations, thereby reducing misallocation and increasing welfare.

Keywords: Dynamic Matching, Waiting-Lists, Queueing, Misallocation, Rationing

JEL Classification: C78, C61, D3, D47

Suggested Citation

Leshno, Jacob, Dynamic Matching in Overloaded Waiting Lists (September 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2967011 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2967011

Jacob Leshno (Contact Author)

Chicago Booth ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60610
United States

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