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Study explains how a job-market system lands couples in the same city
Date:11/1/2013

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The researchers found that in order to find a stable outcome, the job market has to be fairly large; that married couples cannot constitute a large portion of the applicant pool; and that applicants must not rank every residency program.

And while it might seem intuitive that larger job markets will provide better opportunities, the researchers were able to arrive at some specific conclusions: If there are at least 2,000 jobs available in a given area, and if the number of couples equals the square root of the market size, then a stable matching will occur at least 96 percent of the time.

That corresponds with data from the job clearinghouse used by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) from 1999 to 2007, the researchers found that, on average, there were 3,010 single applicants and 19 pairs of married applicants annually.

Moreover, the APPIC data from those years did not record any instances of two-doctor couples who were unable to land in jobs in a stable outcome. The APPIC numbers also show that only 2 percent of the single applicants have had their preferences affected by the presence of married couples in the market.

In all, the positive prognosis for doctors is that current circumstances are helping their job-market clearinghouses work well. But for his part, Pathak also regards the paper as just one result in the larger scholarly effort to improve the methods employed in actual markets. The motivation of all such studies, he notes, is "coming up with practical solutions to real problems."


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Contact: Sarah McDonnell
s_mcd@mit.edu
617-253-8923
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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