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Free Content Introducing Incentives in the Market for Live and Cadaveric Organ Donations

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Abstract:

We evaluate the introduction of monetary incentives in the market for live and cadaveric organ donations. We show that monetary incentives would increase the supply of organs for transplant sufficiently to eliminate the very large queues in organ markets, and the suffering and deaths of many of those waiting, without increasing the total cost of transplant surgery by more than about 12 percent. We build on the value-of-life literature and other parts of economic analysis to estimate the equilibrium cost of live transplants for kidneys and livers. We also show that market price for kidneys will be determined by the cost of live donations, even though most organs will come from cadavers.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/089533007781798311

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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  • The Journal of Economic Perspectives (JEP) attempts to fill a gap between the general interest press and most other academic economics journals. The journal aims to publish articles that will serve several goals: to synthesize and integrate lessons learned from active lines of economic research; to provide economic analysis of public policy issues; to encourage cross-fertilization of ideas among the fields of thinking; to offer readers an accessible source for state-of-the-art economic thinking; to suggest directions for future research; to provide insights and readings for classroom use; and to address issues relating to the economics profession.
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