Vast organ shortages motivated recent efforts to increase the supply of transplantable organs, but we know little about the demand side of the market. We test the implications of a model of organ demand using the universe of US transplant data from 1987 to 2013. Exploiting variation in supply induced by state-level motorcycle helmet laws, we demonstrate that each organ that becomes available from a deceased donor in a particular region induces five transplant candidates to join that region's transplant wait list, while crowding out living-donor transplants. Even with the corresponding demand increase, positive supply shocks increase post-transplant survival rates.
Dickert-Conlin, Stacy, Todd Elder, and Keith Teltser.
"Allocating Scarce Organs: How a Change in Supply Affects Transplant Waiting Lists and Transplant Recipients."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Analysis of Health Care Markets
Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health