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Am Econ Rev. 1991 Jun;81(3):415-40.

A natural experiment in the organization of entry-level labor markets: regional markets for new physicians and surgeons in the United Kingdom.

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  • 1University of Pittsburgh, PA 15260.


The histories of seven regional markets for new physicians and surgeons in the United Kingdom are considered. Like the American market, these markets have experienced failures that led to the adoption of centralized market mechanisms. Because different regions employ different centralized mechanisms, these markets provide a test of the hypothesis that the success of the American market is related to the fact that it produces matches which are stable in the sense that no two agents mutually prefer to be matched to one another than to their assigned partners. Even in the more complex U.K. markets, this kind of stability plays an important role. Centralized markets that produced unstable matches in environments in which agents could act upon instabilities fared no better than the decentralized markets they replaced.

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