The Human and Economic Dimensions of Altruism: The Case of Organ Transplantation
Richard A. Epstein
New York University School of Law; Stanford University - Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; University of Chicago - Law School
Journal of Legal Studies, Forthcoming
U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 385
This paper analyzes three issues critical to understanding the chronic shortage in organs. Section 2 develops a simple economic model of altruism that helps explain how markets with altruistic participants operate in ways similar to ordinary economic markets, but produce an equilibrium position in which more organs are transferred at lower cash prices. Section 3 examines and rejects the various arguments used to undermine the neoclassical arguments in the first section. Section 4 looks at ways to expand the supply of organs: directed donations within families and among friends, solicited organs via matchingdonors.com, donor-recipient pairs, and LifeSharers.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 48
Keywords: altruism, crowding out, kidney transplant, paired organ donationsAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 3, 2008
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