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Altruistically Unbalanced Kidney Exchange

Tayfun Sonmez

Boston College - Department of Economics

M. Utku Ünver

Boston College - Department of Economics

February 1, 2012

Although a pilot national live-donor kidney exchange program was recently launched in the US, the kidney shortage is increasing faster than ever. A new solution paradigm is able to incorporate compatible pairs in exchange. In this paper, we consider an exchange framework that has both compatible and incompatible pairs, and patients are indifferent over compatible pairs. Only two-way exchanges are permitted due to institutional constraints. We explore the structure of Pareto-efficient matchings in this framework. The mathematical structure of this model turns out to be quite novel. We show that under Pareto-efficient matchings, the same number of patients receive transplants, and it is possible to construct Pareto-efficient matchings that match the same incompatible pairs while matching the least number of compatible pairs. We extend the celebrated Gallai-Edmonds Decomposition in the combinatorial optimization literature to our new framework. We also conduct comparative static exercises on how this decomposition changes as new compatible pairs join the pool.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 29

Keywords: Kidney Exchange, Market Design, Matching

JEL Classification: C78, D78, D02, D63

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Date posted: November 25, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Sonmez, Tayfun and Ünver, M. Utku, Altruistically Unbalanced Kidney Exchange (February 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2180359 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2180359

Contact Information

Tayfun Oguz Sonmez
Boston College - Department of Economics ( email )
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States
Utku Unver (Contact Author)
Boston College - Department of Economics ( email )
140 Commonwealth Ave.
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States
+1 (617) 552 2217 (Phone)
+1 (617) 552 2318 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www2.bc.edu/~unver
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