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Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Organ Liberalization?


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  • Jon Diesel
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    By banning payments to donors, government has limited organ supply to barter and charity. Economists have generated a growing literature on organ policy. Starting with Econlit and fanning out from there, I survey and compile the published judgments of economists to see whether they preponderantly support liberalization. I classify 72 economists and find that most of those economists who publish a judgment favor liberalization to one extent or another. This consensus among the surveyed economists pretty well fits opinion of economists in general. The consensus is not universal, however. The organ issue raises interesting analytic issues in the meaning of “liberalization,” for quite a few economists favor reforms of “presumed consent” or “mandated choice,” both of which, in themselves, would seem to be a contravention of the liberty principle. These complications notwithstanding, a consensus in favor of liberalization remains quite clear. I back-up my treatment with an Excel file containing quotations.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Econ Journal Watch in its journal Econ Journal Watch.

    Volume (Year): 7 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 320-336

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    Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:7:y:2010:i:3:p:320-336

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    Keywords: organs; kidneys; cadavers; organ donation; organ markets; economists; presumed consent; mandated choice; organ liberalization;

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    1. Shirley Svorny, 2004. "Licensing Doctors: Do Economists Agree?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(2), pages 279-305, August.
    2. Margaret M. Byrne & Peter Thompson, 2004. "Response to Tabarrok," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(1), pages 19-25, April.
    3. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sonmez & M. Utku Unver, 2004. "Pairwise Kidney Exchange," NBER Working Papers 10698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Dennis Coates & Brad R. Humphreys, 2008. "Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Subsidies for Sports Franchises, Stadiums, and Mega-Events?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 5(3), pages 294-315, September.
    5. Oswald, Andrew, 2001. "Economics that Matters: Using the Tax System to Solve the Shortage of Human Organs," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2-3), pages 379-81.
    6. Roth, Alvin & Ünver, M. Utku & Sönmez, Tayfun, 2004. "Kidney Exchange," Scholarly Articles 2580565, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. Abadie, Alberto & Gay, Sebastien, 2004. "The Impact of Presumed Consent Legislation on Cadaveric Organ Donation: A Cross Country Study," Working Paper Series, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government rwp04-024, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    8. Byrne, Margaret M. & Thompson, Peter, 2001. "A positive analysis of financial incentives for cadaveric organ donation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 69-83, January.
    9. Daniel B. Klein, 2008. "Colleagues, Where Is the Market Failure? Economists on the FDA," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 5(3), pages 316-348, September.
    10. Thorne, Emanuel D, 1996. "The Cost of Procuring Market-Inalienable Human Organs," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 191-200, September.
    11. Alper Altinanahtar & John R. Crooker & Jamie B. Kruse, 2008. "Valuing human organs: an application of contingent valuation," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(1), pages 5-14, January.
    12. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2005. "The Determinants of the Willingness to be an Organ Donor," NBER Working Papers 11316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Fernandez, Jose & Stohr, Lisa, 2009. "The Effect of Traffic Safety Laws and Obesity Rates on Living Organ Donations," MPRA Paper 17033, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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