Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Welfare effects of limiting the number of interviews by Beyhaghi and Tardos

Here's a new paper on a subject that is coming up in a number of the markets that I keep an eye on:

Effect of Limited Number of Interviews onMatching Markets
by Hedyeh Beyhaghi and Eva Tardos

Abstract. We study outcome of two-sided matching between prospective medical residents who can only apply to a limited number of positions and hospitals who can interview only a limited number of applicants and show non-intuitive effects in the matching outcomes. We study matching size as our notion of efficiency, and show when the number of interviews is limited, a market with limited number of applications achieves a higher efficiency compared to a market with no limit. Also we find that a system of treating all applicants equally (setting the same limit for their number of applications), is more efficient rather than allowing a small set to apply to one more/less position. This comparison results in a scallop-shape figure 2 that shows expected size of matching with respect to expected number of applications. Finally we show that limiting number of interviews does not always hurt efficiency of matching markets and can improve social welfare in certain cases. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Spain continues to lead in deceased donation

I'm in Rome to talk today with the 28 EU Competent Authorities on Organ Donation and Transplantation about ways of increasing living donation through kidney exchange, by easing barriers at borders.

In the meantime, Spain remains a model for deceased donation:
Spain breaks organ transplant and donor records again
"The country's National Transplant Organisation (ONT) said 2017 saw a total of 5,259 transplant operations performed beating 2016's record of 4,818 transplants.

The majority were kidney and liver transplants.

Spain also boasts a much higher average of organ donors with 46.9 donors per million people in 2017, compared with 43.9 per million in 2016 and 39.7 in 2015.

The EU average is just 19.6 donors per million and the US average is 26.6 per million."

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Applications and interviews for medical residencies

The computerized clearinghouse for the NRMP medical match solves the congestion problem for new doctors when it comes time to make offers, acceptances and rejections. But electronic applications make it easier to apply for lots of places, and this is coming to seem like a problem in both the resident match and in the later-career fellowship matches.

Residency Placement Fever: Is It Time for a Reevaluation?
Gruppuso, Philip A. MD; Adashi, Eli Y. MD, MS
Academic Medicine
Issue: Volume 92(7), July 2017, p 923–926

Abstract: The transition from undergraduate medical education to graduate medical education (GME) involves a process rooted in the final year of medical school. Students file applications through the Electronic Residency Application Service platform, interview with residency training (i.e., GME) programs from which they have received invitations, and generate a rank-ordered preference list. The National Resident Matching Program reconciles applicant and program rank lists with an eye towards matching students and GME programs. This process has effectively served generations of graduating medical students. However, the past several decades have seen an intensification of the residency placement process that is exemplified by an inexorable increase in the number of applications filed and number of interviews accepted and attended by each student. The authors contend that this trend has untoward effects on both applicants and departments that are home to GME programs. Relevant information in the peer-reviewed literature on the consequences and benefits of the intensification of the residency placement process is scant. The authors address factors that may contribute to the intensity of the residency placement process and the relative paucity of data. They propose approaches to reverse current trends, and conclude that any reevaluation of the process will have to include the generation of outcome data to afford medical educators the opportunity to explore changes in an evidence-based manner.

"In part, the intensification phenomenon is borne out by the aforementioned growth in ERAS-associated traffic. In the eyes of many, this “new normal” draws on the widespread perception that a successful match in highly competitive disciplines is contingent on the filing of applications with a large proportion of the relevant GME programs. For example, in 2015, senior U.S. medical students applied, on average, to 73 of the 163 orthopedic surgery programs and 47 of the 105 neurological surgery programs (based on data extracted from the AAMC 8 and the NRMP 9,10). What is more surprising is that even less competitive disciplines may now be seeing an ever-growing flood of applications. This contention is supported in part by recent observations according to which GME programs in nearly all disciplines have seen a marked increase in their application traffic. For example, the percentage of pediatric GME programs to which graduating U.S. medical students have applied on average increased from 9.8% to 13.7% during the five-year interval from 2010 to 2015.10 For internal medicine GME programs, the corresponding figures are 4.9% to 6.0%.8–10 In making these decisions, students appear to be keeping their own counsel against the advice of medical school advisers and mentors advocating moderation."
"First, consideration should be given to the possibility of coordinating the timing of the interviews and of the Match across all disciplines and GME programs, including the “early match” disciplines of ophthalmology and plastic surgery.32 Consolidation along these lines would address the disruption of fourth-year scheduling, thereby offering educators greater flexibility in designing the fourth-year curriculum. Implementing such changes will not be easy given the longevity, familiarity, and comfort associated with the extant construct. Voluntary action on the part of the relevant professional associations will be required should a realignment of current schedules ever come to pass. Second, reducing if not capping the number of interviews per student would go a long way towards stemming the time and resource drain on both applicants and GME programs. This, too, is not going to be easy given the near-universal presumption that “more is better” and the notion that the times in effect demand such. In this context, consideration might be given to a tiered “screen and schedule” system wherein initial online interviews with many or all eligible applicants would be followed by a limited set of on-site interviews with a select group of “finalists.” As envisioned, this approach, widely used in both the public and the private sectors, stands to rationalize the current residency placement process while maintaining its fundamental premises of excellence and compatibility. Limiting the final on-site interviews to a select number of candidates will also give rise to palpable economies of scale that are likely to be welcomed by applicants, GME programs, and medical schools alike."

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Radio interview on The Quarterly Report

I was interviewed Wednesday by Craig Hafer and Mike Faust on their radio show The Quarterly Report, starting with questions about my book Who Gets What and Why and moving on to market design generally, and then to Shotokan karate.   You can hear the conversation here:

You can also download the show as an mp3 audio file here:

Friday, January 12, 2018

Bichler on market design: textbook from Cambridge U. Press

Martin Bichler has a new textbook on market design, focused on auctions and linear programming:

Market Design A Linear Programming Approach to Auctions and Matching

  • Date Published: December 2017 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Videos from the 2018 AEA Posters

This year the AEA meetings continued the tradition of having lots of poster presentations, and of videotaping some of the authors.
You can find those here: 2018 AEA Poster Videos (and the collection from previous years, which right now also includes just 2017 when we started this here: AEA Poster Session Videos).

You can go directly to each of the 2018 poster presentations at the links below:

Ann Owen on gender diversity on bank boards

January 9, 2018
How does having more women on a board affect bank performance?

Antonio Alonso Arechar on the role of honesty in cooperation

January 10, 2018
Does "cheap talk" help people work together?

Carola Binder on how gas prices are tied to consumer inflation expectations

January 10, 2018
How should monetary policymakers respond to energy price fluctuations?

Dennis Bonam on the stability of monetary unions

January 9, 2018
Can monetary unions come back from unstable times?

Elmer Li on assessing school quality

January 10, 2018
Is student mobility a better measure of school quality than test scores?

Jim Marrone on the black market for antiquities

January 9, 2018
How do economists study archaeological looting?

Lei Gao on mortgage discrimination to same-sex loan applicants

January 9, 2018
How do lenders treat homosexual borrowers differently?

Lucy Xiaolu Wang on how health IT reduces opioid-related deaths

January 10, 2018
How can prescription monitoring programs be more effective?

Seth Gershenson on the impact of same-race educators

January 9, 2018
What impact does having a same-race teacher have on long-term student performance?

Shaikh Eskander on how Bangladeshi farmers adapt to natural disasters

January 9, 2018
How do farmers use the land rental market to mitigate the effects of climate change?

Sriya Anbil on emergency lending in the Great Depression

January 9, 2018
How can we identify "bad banks"?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Do organ donors have a right to donate?

Here's a case that makes clear that some donors really wish to become donors, in this case deceased donors. The story is from the Canadian Broadcasting Service news:
Organ donation changes dying for those getting medically assisted death
People who have chosen to die with medical assistance are often the best candidates for donation

"When ALS diminished Brian Wadsworth's quality of life, he asked for medical assistance in dying. Organ donation was the natural next choice. And while the decision came with logistical challenges and ethical concerns, his loved ones say he never looked back."