Organ Allocation Policy and the Decision to Donate

Judd B. Kessler, Alvin E. Roth

NBER Working Paper No. 17324
Issued in August 2011
NBER Program(s):   HE

Organ donations from deceased donors provide the majority of transplanted organs in the United States, and one deceased donor can save numerous lives by providing multiple organs. Nevertheless, most Americans are not registered organ donors despite the relative ease of becoming one. We study in the laboratory an experimental game modeled on the decision to register as an organ donor, and investigate how changes in the management of organ waiting lists might impact donations. We find that an organ allocation policy giving priority on waiting lists to those who previously registered as donors has a significant positive impact on registration.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17324

Published: Judd B. Kessler & Alvin E. Roth, 2012. "Organ Allocation Policy and the Decision to Donate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2018-47, August. citation courtesy of

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