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The Human and Economic Dimensions of Altruism: The Case of Organ Transplantation

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  • Richard A. Epstein
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    This paper analyzes three issues critical to understanding the chronic shortage of organs. Section 2 develops a simple economic model of altruism that helps explain how markets with altruistic participants operate like ordinary economic markets but produce an equilibrium position in which more organs are transferred at lower cash prices. Section 3 examines and rejects the various arguments used to undermine the neoclassical arguments in the first section. Section 4 looks at ways to expand the supply of organs: directed donations within families and among friends, solicited organs via MatchingDonors.com, donor-recipient pairs, and LifeSharers. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/589669
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    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Legal Studies.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 459-501

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:37:y:2008:i:2:p:459-501
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLS/

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    1. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo, 2000. "A Fine is a Price," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
    2. Glaeser, Edward L. & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "Not-for-profit entrepreneurs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 99-115, July.
    3. Viscusi, W Kip, 1993. "The Value of Risks to Life and Health," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1912-1946, December.
    4. Alvin E. Roth, 2007. "Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 37-58, Summer.
    5. Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 2006. "The Value of Health and Longevity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 871-904, October.
    6. repec:hrv:faseco:33078971 is not listed on IDEAS
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