Rent a womb: Surrogate selection, investment incentives and contracting
We develop a model of gestational surrogacy, in which a childless couple faces heterogeneous prospective surrogates. High-type surrogates add more value but also have higher outside options. Surrogates can make specific investments for the overall well-being (care) of the unborn child. We show that, under noncontractibility, surrogates invest less (take less care) than the first-best. Couples are also more likely to choose low-type surrogates, who need less compensation for foregoing cheaper outside options. Hence the popular practice of making surrogacy contracts unenforceable might put the unborn child at risk.
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