Do Defaults Save Lives?
Eric J. Johnson
Columbia Business School - Marketing
Daniel G. Goldstein
Microsoft Research New York City; London Business School
Nov 21, 2003
Science, Vol. 302, pp. 1338-1339, 2003
The article discusses how should policy-makers choose defaults regarding organ donors. First, consider that every policy must have a no-action default, and defaults impose physical, cognitive, and, in the case of donation, emotional costs on those who must change their status. Second, note that defaults can lead to two kinds of misclassification, willing donors who are not identified or people who become donors against their wishes. Changes in defaults could increase donations in the United States of additional thousands of donors a year. Because each donor can be used for about three transplants, the consequences are substantial in lives saved.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 2
Keywords: organ donors, donation of organs, donation of tissues, transplantationAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 9, 2009
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