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One Chance in a Million: Altruism and the Bone Marrow Registry

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

Abstract

Transplants of donated stem cells save the lives of many patients with blood diseases. Donation is somewhat painful, but rarely has lasting adverse effects. Patients can accept transplants only from donors with compatible immune systems. Those lacking a sibling match must seek donations from the population at large. The probability that two persons of the same race are compatible is less than 1/10,000. Health authorities maintain a registry of several million genetically-tested potential donors who have agreed to donate if asked. We study the peculiar structure of voluntary public good provision represented by the registry, and compare the marginal benefits and marginal costs of expanding the registry.

Suggested Citation

  • Bergstrom, Ted C & Garratt, Rod & Sheehan-Connor, Damien, 2008. "One Chance in a Million: Altruism and the Bone Marrow Registry," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt2xt1p3gf, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt2xt1p3gf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Guodong Gao & Tianshu Sun & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2015. "Mobile Messaging for Offline Social Interactions: A Large Field Expeiment," Natural Field Experiments 00571, The Field Experiments Website.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Chen, Daniel L. & Schonger, Martin, 2016. "Social preferences or sacred values? Theroy and evidence of deontological motivations," TSE Working Papers 16-714, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    5. Bergstrom Ted C. & Garratt Rod & Sheehan-Connor Damien, 2012. "Stem Cell Donor Matching for Patients of Mixed Race," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-27, July.
    6. 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.
    7. repec:now:jnlsbe:102.00000065t is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Tayfun Sönmez & M. Utku Ünver & Özgür Yilmaz, 2016. "How (Not) to Integrate Blood Subtyping Technology to Kidney Exchange," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 900, Boston College Department of Economics.
    9. Bergstrom, Ted & Garratt, Rod & Leo, Greg, 2015. "Let me, or Let George? Motives of competing altruists," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt48m9547q, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    10. Fève, Frédérique & Florens, Jean-Pierre, 2010. "A mathematical model for bone marrow donors' registries and cord blood banks," IDEI Working Papers 623, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    11. 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.
    12. Van Long, Ngo, 2016. "The Impacts of Other-Regarding Preferences and Ethical Choice on Environmental Outcomes: A Review of the Literature," Strategic Behavior and the Environment, now publishers, vol. 6(1-2), pages 1-35, December.
    13. repec:eee:ejores:v:264:y:2018:i:3:p:884-893 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Tianshu Sun & Guodong (Gordon) Gao & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2015. "Mobile Messaging for Offline Group Formation in Prosocial Activities: A Large Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 21704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    altruism; voluntary contributions of public goods; value of statistical life; benefit-cost analysis; donations; bone marrow registry; genetics;

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets

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