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An Experimental Evaluation of a Matching Market Mechanism
Last registered on September 18, 2019


Trial Information
General Information
An Experimental Evaluation of a Matching Market Mechanism
Initial registration date
September 17, 2019
Last updated
September 18, 2019 12:30 PM EDT

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Request Information
Primary Investigator
University of Chicago
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Oregon
PI Affiliation
United States Military Academy at West Point
Additional Trial Information
In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
We propose using a randomized controlled trial to measure the impact of replacing a status quo job assignment process within a large-scale employer with a system based on insights from matching and market design on match outcomes, in particular, using a deferred acceptance algorithm to match employees with positions.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Davis, Jonathan, Kyle Greengberg and Damon Jones. 2019. "An Experimental Evaluation of a Matching Market Mechanism." AEA RCT Registry. September 18. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4718-2.0.
Experimental Details
We propose replacing the current system of manually matching employees to positions with an algorithmic match based on the deferred acceptance algorithm.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our three main measures of match quality will be (1) satisfaction with the match, (2) performance in the match, and (3) retention with the organization.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Our three main measures of match quality will be (1) satisfaction with the match, (2) performance in the match, and (3) retention with the Army. We will measure satisfaction with the match using officers’ and units’ rank-ordered preferences over potential matches. This is a measure of ex-ante satisfaction with a match. We may also be able to measure realized job satisfaction via survey questions that will be included in Human Resource Command's existing officer surveys.

We will measure the impact on performance using promotion outcomes and officer’s annual performance evaluations. Our main promotion outcome will be the time to the next promotion. The performance evaluations include a categorical rating (Most qualified, Highly qualified, Qualified, and Unqualified) and a text-based evaluation that can be mapped to a rank ordered performance rating that is highly predictive of future promotions. In particular, we will use the predicted rank from the text-based evaluation as a quantitative measure of performance.

During the three-year project period, we will measure retention using one- and two-year retention rates. In addition, we will measure retention outcomes for as long as our data agreement allows.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
There is a possibility that we will be able measure additional measures of match-relevant outcomes for the family, including fertility decisions, marriage and divorce rates, and measures of spousal volunteerism.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We will test the impact of matching via the deferred acceptance algorithm using a randomized controlled trial.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
We will use a pseudo-random number generator to assign markets to the treatment or control group.
Randomization Unit
Market of employees and positions within the firm, based on rank in the organization and specialty.
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
120 markets
Sample size: planned number of observations
11,500 employees
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
60 treatment and 60 control markets
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The MDE on one-year retention rates if covariates explain 10 percent of residual variation is 1.5 percentage points (pp) if
IRB Name
University of Chicago Social and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number