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American Economic Review: Vol. 97 No. 3 (June 2007)

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Efficient Kidney Exchange: Coincidence of Wants in Markets with Compatibility-Based Preferences

Article Citation

Roth, Alvin E., Tayfun Sönmez, and M. Utku Ünver. 2007. "Efficient Kidney Exchange: Coincidence of Wants in Markets with Compatibility-Based Preferences." American Economic Review, 97(3): 828-851.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.3.828

Abstract

Patients needing kidney transplants may have donors who cannot donate to them because of blood or tissue incompatibility. Incompatible patient-donor pairs can exchange donor kidneys with other pairs only when there is a "double coincidence of wants." Developing infrastructure to perform three-way as well as two-way exchanges will have a substantial effect on the number of transplants that can be arranged. Larger than three-way exchanges have less impact on efficiency. In a general model of type-compatible exchanges, the size of the largest exchanges required to achieve efficiency equals the number of types. (JEL C78, I12)

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Authors

Roth, Alvin E.
Sönmez, Tayfun
Ünver, M. Utku


American Economic Review


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