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Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Organ Liberalization?

  • 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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    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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    1. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sönmez & M. Utku Ünver, 2004. "Kidney Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 457-488, May.
    2. Byrne, Margaret M. & Thompson, Peter, 2001. "A positive analysis of financial incentives for cadaveric organ donation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 69-83, January.
    3. Dennis Coates & Brad R. Humphreys, 2008. "Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Subsidies for Sports Franchises, Stadiums, and Mega-Events?," Working Papers 0818, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
    4. 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.
    5. Roth, Alvin E. & Sonmez, Tayfun & Utku Unver, M., 2005. "Pairwise kidney exchange," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 125(2), pages 151-188, December.
    6. Daniel B. Klein, 2008. "Colleagues, Where Is the Market Failure? Economists on the FDA," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 5(3), pages 316-348, September.
    7. 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, vol. 35(1), pages 5-14, January.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Shirley Svorny, 2004. "Licensing Doctors: Do Economists Agree?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(2), pages 279-305, August.
    11. Thorne, Emanuel D, 1996. "The Cost of Procuring Market-Inalienable Human Organs," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 191-200, September.
    12. Margaret M. Byrne & Peter Thompson, 2004. "Response to Tabarrok," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(1), pages 19-25, April.
    13. Oswald, Andrew, 2001. "Economics that Matters: Using the Tax System to Solve the Shortage of Human Organs," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2-3), pages 379-81.
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