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: Suggested Citation