Matching markets in the digital age

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Science  27 May 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6289, pp. 1056-1057
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf7781

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Recent advances in information technology are enabling new markets and revolutionizing many existing markets. For example, taxicabs used to find passengers through chance drive-bys or slow central dispatching (see the photo). Location tracking, computer navigation, and dynamic pricing now enable ride-sharing services such as Uber to offer low and consistent delay times of only a few minutes. In a recent study, Cramer and Krueger (1) show that ride-sharing has dramatically increased the usage of drivers and their cars, cutting costs for riders. The results highlight the opportunities provided by digital markets. Further efficiency gains may come from academia-industry collaborations, which could also help to ensure that the markets develop in ways that further the public interest.