The Human and Economic Dimensions of Altruism: The Case of Organ Transplantation
48 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2008
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.
Keywords: altruism, crowding out, kidney transplant, paired organ donations
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