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Kidney Exchange

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Listed:
  • Roth, Alvin
  • Ãœnver, M. Utku
  • Sönmez, Tayfun

Abstract

Most transplanted kidneys are from cadavers, but there are also many transplants from live donors. Recently, there have started to be kidney exchanges involving two donor-patient pairs such that each donor cannot give a kidney to the intended recipient because of immunological incompatibility, but each patient can receive a kidney from the other donor. Exchanges are also made in which a donor-patient pair makes a donation to someone waiting for a cadaver kidney, in return for the patient in the pair receiving high priority for a compatible cadaver kidney when one becomes available. There are stringent legal/ethical constraints on how exchanges can be conducted. We explore how larger scale exchanges of these kinds can be arranged efficiently and incentive compatibly, within existing constraints. The problem resembles some of the “housing†problems studied in the mechanism design literature for indivisible goods, with the novel feature that while live donor kidneys can be assigned simultaneously, cadaver kidneys cannot. In addition to studying the theoretical properties of the proposed kidney exchange, we present simulation results suggesting that the welfare gains from larger scale exchange would be substantial, both in increased number of feasible live donation transplants, and in improved match quality of transplanted kidneys.

Suggested Citation

  • Roth, Alvin & Ãœnver, M. Utku & Sönmez, Tayfun, 2004. "Kidney Exchange," Scholarly Articles 2580565, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:2580565
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Szilvia Papai, 2000. "Strategyproof Assignment by Hierarchical Exchange," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1403-1434, November.
    2. Gary S. Becker & Julio Jorge Elías, 2007. "Introducing Incentives in the Market for Live and Cadaveric Organ Donations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 3-24, Summer.
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    4. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sönmez & M. Utku Ünver, 2004. "Kidney Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 457-488.
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    6. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Sonmez, 1998. "Random Serial Dictatorship and the Core from Random Endowments in House Allocation Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 689-702, May.
    7. Sonmez, Tayfun, 1996. "Implementation in generalized matching problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 429-439.
    8. Lars-Gunnar Svensson, 1999. "Strategy-proof allocation of indivisible goods," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 16(4), pages 557-567.
    9. Shapley, Lloyd & Scarf, Herbert, 1974. "On cores and indivisibility," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 23-37, March.
    10. Yan Chen & Tayfun Sönmez, 2002. "Improving Efficiency of On-Campus Housing: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1669-1686, December.
    11. Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Sonmez, Tayfun, 1999. "House Allocation with Existing Tenants," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 233-260, October.
    12. Roth, Alvin E., 1982. "Incentive compatibility in a market with indivisible goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 127-132.
    13. Roth, Alvin E. & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1977. "Weak versus strong domination in a market with indivisible goods," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 131-137, August.
    14. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Sönmez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 729-747, June.
    15. Tayfun Sonmez, 1999. "Strategy-Proofness and Essentially Single-Valued Cores," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(3), pages 677-690, May.
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    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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