NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Kidney Exchange

Alvin E. Roth, Tayfun Sonmez, M. Utku Unver

NBER Working Paper No. 10002
Issued in September 2003
NBER Program(s):   HE   PE

Most transplanted kidneys are from cadavers, but there are also substantial numbers of transplants from live donors. Recently, there have started to be kidney exchanges involving two donor-patient pairs such that each donor cannot give a kidney to the intended recipient because of immunological incompatibility, but each patient can receive a kidney from the other donor. Exchanges are also made in which a donor-patient pair makes a donation to someone on the queue for a cadaver kidney, in return for the patient in the pair receiving the highest priority for a compatible cadaver kidney when one becomes available. We explore how such exchanges can be arranged efficiently and incentive compatibly. The problem resembles some of the housing' problems studied in the mechanism design literature for indivisible goods, with the novel feature that while live donor kidneys can be assigned simultaneously, the cadaver kidneys must be transplanted immediately upon becoming available. In addition to studying the theoretical properties of the design we propose for a kidney exchange, we present simulation results suggesting that the welfare gains would be substantial, both in increased number of feasible live donation transplants, and in improved match quality of transplanted kidneys.

download in pdf format
   (768 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (768 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10002

Published:

  • Roth, Alvin E., Tayfun Sonmez and M. Utku Unver. "Pairwise Kidney Exchange," Journal of Economic Theory 125(2): 151-188, December 2005 ,
  • Roth, Alvin E., Tayfun Sonmez and M. Utku Unver. "Kidney Exchange," Quarterly Journal of Economics 119(2): 457-488, May 2004

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Roth, Sonmez, and Unver w11402 Efficient Kidney Exchange: Coincidence of Wants in a Structured Market
Roth w12702 Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets
Roth and Peranson w6963 The Redesign of the Matching Market for American Physicians: Some Engineering Aspects of Economic Design
Abadie and Gay w10604 The Impact of Presumed Consent Legislation on Cadaveric Organ Donation: A Cross Country Study
Roth, Sonmez, and Unver w10698 Pairwise Kidney Exchange
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us