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

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  • Theodore C. Bergstrom
  • Rod Garratt
  • Damien Sheehan-Connor

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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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2007/wp-cesifo-2007-09/cesifo1_wp2090.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2090.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2090

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  1. Johannesson, Magnus & Johansson, Per-Olov & Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf, 1997. "On the Value of Changes in Life Expectancy: Blips versus Parametric Changes," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 152, Stockholm School of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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