Essays on the applications of matching theory to political economy

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In this dissertation I use tools from market design and matching theory to study institutional design in political economy and development. How are personnel allocated within a public organization? What is the intended distribution of talent across institutions and are organizational procedures successful in attaining their stated goals? Who can exert influence in personnel allocation processes and what is the impact of these organizational choices on outcomes? How does an institution evolve? How should these systems be designed? My research tries to address such institutional questions at the heart of public administration and political economy. Matching theory in political economy is an unexplored space. In political economy, we often think of underlying voting processes determining allocations or outcomes. However, there are also many assignment problems where there is no voting, or where the voting process is embedded within a larger allocation procedure. At the heart of such assignment procedures is a matching mechanism. It takes as input, people's preferences of where they want to be assigned, incorporates priorities and other constraints to be instituted, and returns the set of assignments. I use and develop tools of matching theory in these instances to better understand the assignment problems (empirically and theoretically) and to design better mechanisms (an engineering perspective). I explore two new substantive applications in matching theory: mechanisms allocating elite civil servants to states in India (Chapter 1) and party-specific mechanisms for assigning politicians to committees in the US Senate (Chapter 2). These political economy applications share a unique feature that is new to the theoretical matching literature. Namely, the very people who are allocated by the matching mechanism choose, or agree upon, the choice of the matching mechanism. Chapter 3 studies the matching mechanism as an endogenously chosen institution and introduces the novel concept of majority stability. Collectively, my dissertation highlights two important themes at the intersection of matching theory and political economy: i) correlated preferences as a source of institutional imbalance and ii) the perspective of a matching mechanism being an endogenous institutional choice.


Type of resource text
Form electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
Extent 1 online resource.
Place California
Place [Stanford, California]
Publisher [Stanford University]
Copyright date 2020; ©2020
Publication date 2020; 2020
Issuance monographic
Language English


Author Thakur, Ashutosh Dinesh
Degree supervisor Callander, Steven
Degree supervisor Roth, Alvin E, 1951-
Thesis advisor Callander, Steven
Thesis advisor Roth, Alvin E, 1951-
Thesis advisor Jha, Saumitra
Thesis advisor Somaini, Paulo
Degree committee member Jha, Saumitra
Degree committee member Somaini, Paulo
Associated with Stanford University, Graduate School of Business


Genre Theses
Genre Text

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Ashutosh Dinesh Thakur.
Note Submitted to the Graduate School of Business.
Thesis Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2020.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2020 by Ashutosh Dinesh Thakur
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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