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Organ Allocation Policy and the Decision to Donate

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  • Judd B. Kessler
  • Alvin E. Roth

Abstract

Organ donations from deceased donors provide the majority of transplanted organs in the United States, and one deceased donor can save numerous lives by providing multiple organs. Nevertheless, most Americans are not registered organ donors despite the relative ease of becoming one. We study in the laboratory an experimental game modeled on the decision to register as an organ donor, and investigate how changes in the management of organ waiting lists might impact donations. We find that an organ allocation policy giving priority on waiting lists to those who previously registered as donors has a significant positive impact on registration.

Suggested Citation

  • Judd B. Kessler & Alvin E. Roth, 2011. "Organ Allocation Policy and the Decision to Donate," NBER Working Papers 17324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17324
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tayfun Sönmez & Alvin E. Roth & M. Utku Ünver, 2007. "Efficient Kidney Exchange: Coincidence of Wants in Markets with Compatibility-Based Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 828-851, June.
    2. Alvin E. Roth, 2009. "What Have We Learned from Market Design?," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 79-112.
    3. Roth, Alvin E. & Leider, Stephen, 2010. "Kidneys For Sale: Who Disapproves, and Why?," Scholarly Articles 5128483, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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    6. Roth, Alvin E. & Sonmez, Tayfun & Unver, Utku & Delmonico, Francis & Saidman, Susan L., 2014. "Utilizing List Exchange and Non-directed Donation through “Chain” Paired Kidney Donations," MPRA Paper 58246, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard Thaler, 2007. "Heuristics and Biases in Retirement Savings Behavior," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 81-104, Summer.
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    11. Saidman, Susan L. & Roth, Alvin E. & Sonmez, Tayfun & Unver, M. Utku & Delmonico, Francis L., 2014. "Increasing the Opportunity of Live Kidney Donation by Matching for Two and Three Way Exchanges," MPRA Paper 58247, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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