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Comparing the effects of defaults in organ donation systems

  • van Dalen, Hendrik P.
  • Henkens, Kène

The ability of patients in many parts of the world to benefit from transplantation is limited by growing shortages of transplantable organs. The choice architecture of donation systems is said to play a pivotal role in explaining this gap. In this paper we examine the question how different defaults affect the decision to register as organ donor. Three defaults in organ donation systems are compared: mandated choice, presumed consent and explicit consent. Hypothetical choices from a national survey of 2069 respondents in May 2011 in the Netherlands – a country with an explicit consent system – suggests that mandated choice and presumed consent are more effective at generating registered donors than explicit consent.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 106 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 137-142

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:106:y:2014:i:c:p:137-142
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  1. Alois Stutzer & Lorenz Goette & Michael Zehnder, 2006. "Active Decisions and Pro-social Behavior: A Field Experiment on Blood Donation," IEW - Working Papers 279, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Abadie, Alberto & Gay, Sebastien, 2004. "The Impact of Presumed Consent Legislation on Cadaveric Organ Donation: A Cross Country Study," Working Paper Series rwp04-024, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Luce, Mary Frances, 1998. " Choosing to Avoid: Coping with Negatively Emotion-Laden Consumer Decisions," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 409-33, March.
  4. Mocan, Naci & Tekin, Erdal, 2007. "The determinants of the willingness to donate an organ among young adults: Evidence from the United States and the European Union," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(12), pages 2527-2538, December.
  5. Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
  6. David H. Howard, 2007. "Producing Organ Donors," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 25-36, Summer.
  7. 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.
  8. Roth, Alvin E. & Leider, Stephen, 2010. "Kidneys For Sale: Who Disapproves, and Why?," Scholarly Articles 5128483, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2003. "Optimal Defaults," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 180-185, May.
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