Inner Workings of Organ Markets and Organ Allocation
Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
- Chair: Eric Budish, University of Chicago
A Regulated Market for Kidneys
AbstractThe persistent shortage of kidneys for transplantation is a global problem for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. Many countries have tried to address this issue by increasing deceased donation, by introducing kidney exchange programs, and by optimizing the allocation algorithms. Despite such efforts, the problem of shortage is growing in most countries, with more than 100,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant only in the U.S. Iran is the only country in the world that has introduced a different program of living unrelated renal donation, which includes two kinds of monetary compensation of donors: a "gift for altruism" from the government to donors, as well as an additional compensation from the patients themselves. We will discuss the impacts of this program on waiting times, organ shortage, and its equilibrium effects on other kinds of live donation.
Strategic Behavior in the Kidney Waitlist
AbstractA transplant can improve a patient's life while saving several hundred thousands of dollars of healthcare expenditures. Organs from deceased donors, like many other common pool resources (e.g. public housing, child-care slots, publicly funded long-term care), are rationed via a waitlist. The efficiency and equity properties of design choices such as penalties for refusing offers or object-type specific lists are not well understood and depend on agent preferences. This paper establishes an empirical framework for analyzing the trade-offs involved in waitlist design and applies it to study the allocation of deceased donor kidneys. We model the decision to accept an offer from a waiting list as an optimal stopping problem and use it to estimate the value of accepting various kidneys. Our estimated values for various kidneys is highly correlated with predicted patient outcomes as measured by life-years from transplantation (LYFT). While some types of donors are preferable for all patients (e.g. young donors), there is substantial heterogeneity in willingness to wait for good donors and also substantial match-specific heterogeneity in values (due to biological similarity). We find that the high willingness to wait for good donors without considering the effects of these decisions on others results in agents being too selective relative to socially optimal. This suggests that mild penalties for refusal (e.g. loss in priority) may improve efficiency. Similarly, the heterogeneity in willingness to wait for young, healthy donors suggests that separate queues by donor quality may increase efficiency by inducing sorting without significantly hurting assignments based on match-specific payoffs.
- D4 - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design