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Stem Cell Donor Matching for Patients of Mixed Race


  • Bergstrom, Ted C
  • Garratt, Rod
  • Sheehan-Connor, Damien


The plight of multiracial leukemia patients who are unable to find matching stem cell donors has received much media attention. These news stories, while dramatic, are short on statistical information and long on misconceptions. We apply simple probability theory, the genetics of sexual diploid reproduction, and the theory of public goods to produce estimates of the probabilities that multiracial patients will find matching donors in the existing registry. We then compute the benefits and costs of registering more potential donors of single and mixed races. c

Suggested Citation

  • Bergstrom, Ted C & Garratt, Rod & Sheehan-Connor, Damien, 2009. "Stem Cell Donor Matching for Patients of Mixed Race," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt22w466q9, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt22w466q9

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Glenn C. Blomquist, 2004. "Self-Protection and Averting Behavior, Values of Statistical Lives, and Benefit Cost Analysis of Environmental Policy," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 89-110, March.
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    3. Johannesson, Magnus & Johansson, Per-Olov & Lofgren, Karl-Gustaf, 1997. "On the Value of Changes in Life Expectancy: Blips versus Parametric Changes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 221-239, December.
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    5. Zhenchao Qian, 2004. "Options: Racial/Ethnic Identification of Children of Intermarried Couples," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 85(3), pages 746-766.
    6. Theodore C. Bergstrom & Rodney J. Garratt & Damien Sheehan-Connor, 2009. "One Chance in a Million: Altruism and the Bone Marrow Registry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1309-1334, September.
    7. Jones-Lee, M W & Hammerton, M & Philips, P R, 1985. "The Value of Safety: Results of a National Sample Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(377), pages 49-72, March.
    8. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Thomas J. Kniesner & W. Kip Viscusi & Christopher Woock & James P. Ziliak, 2012. "The Value of a Statistical Life: Evidence from Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 74-87, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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 2018-2047, August.
    2. Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario & Stith, Sarah S., 2014. "Removing financial barriers to organ and bone marrow donation: The effect of leave and tax legislation in the U.S," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 43-56.
    3. Judd B. Kessler & Alvin E. Roth, 2014. "Don't Take 'No' For An Answer: An Experiment With Actual Organ Donor Registrations," NBER Working Papers 20378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:eee:ejores:v:264:y:2018:i:3:p:884-893 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Damien Sheehan-Connor & Theodore Bergstrom & Rodney Garratt, 2015. "Saving lives with stem cell transplants," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 23-51, August.

    More about this item


    Stem cell donors; bone marrow registry; Matching; Genetics; Health economics; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Medicine and Health Sciences;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health


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