Legal Origins, Religion and Health Outcomes: A Cross-Country Comparison of Organ Donation Laws
14 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2018
Date Written: July 24, 2018
This paper investigates what drives countries to legislate presumed consent --- making citizens organ donors by default unless they opt out --- instead of explicit consent. A wide range of economic, social, political, institutional, and demographic variables is used. Results reveal the following: (i) civil law predicts presumed consent, which uncovers a mechanism by which an institution that long pre-dates transplantation medicine has an impact on current health outcomes; (ii) Protestantism predicts explicit consent; and (iii) higher pro-social behavior decreases the likelihood of presumed consent. The plausible mechanisms and implications are discussed.
Keywords: Organ donation laws, presumed consent, legal origins, religion, altruism, regulation
JEL Classification: K32, I18, H8
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