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One Chance in a Million: Altruism and the Bone Marrow Registry

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  • Bergstrom, Ted C
  • Garratt, Rod
  • Sheehan-Connor, Damien

Abstract

Transplants of donated stem cells save the lives of many patients with blood diseases. Donation is somewhat painful, but rarely has lasting adverse effects. Patients can accept transplants only from donors with compatible immune systems. Those lacking a sibling match must seek donations from the population at large. The probability that two persons of the same race are compatible is less than 1/10,000. Health authorities maintain a registry of several million genetically-tested potential donors who have agreed to donate if asked. We study the peculiar structure of voluntary public good provision represented by the registry, and compare the marginal benefits and marginal costs of expanding the registry.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara in its series University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt2xt1p3gf.

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Date of creation: 07 Apr 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt2xt1p3gf

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Keywords: altruism; voluntary contributions of public goods; value of statistical life; benefit-cost analysis; donations; bone marrow registry; genetics;

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References

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  1. Aldy, Joseph E. & Viscusi, W. Kip, 2003. "The Value of Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Working paper 282, Regulation2point0.
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  7. Mellström, Carl & Johannesson, Magnus, 2005. "Crowding Out in Blood Donation: Was Titmuss Right?," Working Papers in Economics 180, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 08 Feb 2008.
  8. Edward P. Lazear & Ulrike Malmendier & Roberto A. Weber, 2012. "Sorting in Experiments with Application to Social Preferences," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 136-63, January.
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  14. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Judd B. Kessler & Alvin E. Roth, 2012. "Organ Allocation Policy and the Decision to Donate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2018-47, August.
  2. Nicola Lacetera & Mario Macis & Sarah S. Stith, 2012. "Removing Financial Barriers to Organ and Bone Marrow Donation: The Effect of Leave and Tax Legislation in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 18299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bergstrom Ted C. & Garratt Rod & Sheehan-Connor Damien, 2012. "Stem Cell Donor Matching for Patients of Mixed Race," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-27, July.

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