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The Determinants of the Willingness to be an Organ Donor

  • Naci Mocan
  • Erdal Tekin

The total value of life lost due to death because of waiting for an organ transplant is greater than $4 billion annually in the United States, and the excess demand for organs has been increasing over time. To shed light on the factors that impact the willingness to donate an organ, we analyze data from the United States and the European Union. The rate of willingness to donate an organ is 38 % among young adults in the U.S., and it is 42 % in Europe. Interesting similarities emerge between the U.S. and Europe regarding the impact of gender, political views and education on the willingness to donate. In the U.S. Blacks, Hispanics and Catholics are less likely to donate. In Europe, individuals who reveal that they are familiar with the rules and regulations governing the donation and transplantation of human organs are more likely to donate. In both data sets individuals who had some encounter with the health care sector %u2013either through a recent emergency room visit (in the U.S.), or perhaps because of a long-standing illness (in the E.U), are more likely to become organ donors. Mother%u2019s education has a separate positive impact.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11316.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11316.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Publication status: published as Mocan, Naci and Erdal Tekin. “The Determinants of the Willingness to Donate an Organ among Young Adults: Evidence from the United States and the European Union.” Social Science and Medicine 65, 12 (December 2007): 2527-2538.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11316
Note: HC HE
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  1. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
  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. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. " The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
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