Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Surrogacy law in Italy (moderated by subsequent court decisions)

The Italian law governing reproductive technology and surrogacy dates from 2004, but (although I don't think the law has been amended), some of the things it forbids have been modified by subsequent court decisions.

"This law prohibits research and reproductive cloning, the manipulation of embryos, the use of donated eggs or sperm for ART, and the cryopreservation of embryos (with the exception of severe injury/illness preventing embryo transfer). A maximum of three eggs can be fertilized and transferred per reproductive cycle. Sex-selection is only permitted through sperm sorting for sex-lined genetic diseases. All forms of surrogacy are prohibited. The use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis for the selection of embryos is generally prohibited, but has been allowed through the courts on a case-by case basis. Genetic testing for non-medical purposes is prohibited. The use of ART is restricted to stable heterosexual couples who live together, are of reproductive age, are over the age of 18, have documented infertility, and have been first provided the opportunity for adoption.”
(From G12 Country Regulations of Assisted Reproductive Technologies)

Monday, June 17, 2019

Matching markets and market design at the University of Campania, Luigi Vanvitelli

I'll be speaking today on matching markets and market design at the
Università degli studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli

Here's the announcement: Premio Nobel alla Vanvitelli, in cattedra c'è Alvin Roth,
and here's another.

"Alvin Roth - Premio Nobel per l'economia 2012 - all'Università Vanvitelli con una conferenza dal titolo "Matching markets and market design".

"L'evento, organizzato dal Dipartimento di Scienze politiche dell'Ateneo, si terrà il 17 giugno presso l'Aula Magna del Centro residenziale e studi della SNA, Corso Trieste a Caserta alle ore 10.30. Economista statunitense già noto per i suoi fondamentali contributi nella teoria dei giochi e dell'economia sperimentale, attualmente è Professore di Economia, presso il Dipartimento di Economia della Stanford University ed è Professore Emerito di Economia e Business Administration presso la Harvard University.

"Roth è leader mondiale nelle aree di ricerca della teoria dei giochi, economia sperimentale e market design, in particolare del disegno dei matching markets.
Il problema del combinare diversi giocatori (agenti) nel miglior modo possibile, è un problema economico molto rilevante. Lloyd Shapley (che ha condiviso il Nobel con Alvin Roth) ha studiato i diversi metodi di matching teoricamente e, a partire dagli anni ’80, Alvin Roth ha usato i risultati teorici di Shapley per spiegare come funziona una certa tipologia di mercati (i matching markets). Attraverso studi empirici ed esperimenti economici, Alvin Roth ha dimostrato che la stabilità è una caratteristica essenziale per ottenere un metodo di matching di successo. Roth ha sviluppato algoritmi per combinare medici con ospedali, studenti con scuole, donatori di organi con pazienti. Nel 2000, nell’ospedale di Rhode Island avvenne il primo scambio di reni negli Stati Uniti e la teoria sviluppata da Alvin Roth sui cicli di scambio sembrò avere un ottimo potenziale per questo tipo di applicazione. Roth e i suoi collaboratori hanno disegnato un algoritmo per lo scambio di reni sia tra pazienti e donatori diretti, sia per integrare questo tipo di scambio con donatori non diretti (come donatori deceduti o altri donatori non diretti ancora in vita). "

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Repugnant statistical analyses

Joshua Gans points us to an unusual case of repugnance. Here's the beginning of Joshua's blog post:

The unintended consequences of France’s ban on statistical analysis of Judges

"If someone had said that I would be writing a blog post to consider a law that might imprison people for conducting statistical analysis on publicly available data, I would have thought that was unlikely because who would ever propose, let alone enact, such a law?

"The other day we got our answer: France! The very country that produced Laplace, Pascal and Guerry!

"The law in question is Article 33 of the Justice Reform Act which was amended to read as follows:

"The identity data of magistrates and members of the judiciary cannot be reused with the purpose or effect of evaluating, analysing, comparing or predicting their actual or alleged professional practices.

"That maximum sentence (yes, criminal sentence) for violating this is 5 years. This puts ‘statistics’ in the category of a crime. Notice that it is actually using the data for a specific purpose and not something else like publishing outcomes that violate privacy.

What this means is that you cannot do statistical analyses that compare judges. "

Here's a news article from a site called Artificial Lawyer, devoted to legal tech:

France Bans Judge Analytics, 5 Years In Prison For Rule Breakers

"In a startling intervention that seeks to limit the emerging litigation analytics and prediction sector, the French Government has banned the publication of statistical information about judges’ decisions – with a five year prison sentence set as the maximum punishment for anyone who breaks the new law.

"Owners of legal tech companies focused on litigation analytics are the most likely to suffer from this new measure.

"The new law, encoded in Article 33 of the Justice Reform Act, is aimed at preventing anyone – but especially legal tech companies focused on litigation prediction and analytics – from publicly revealing the pattern of judges’ behaviour in relation to court decisions.

"A key passage of the new law states:

The identity data of magistrates and members of the judiciary cannot be reused with the purpose or effect of evaluating, analysing, comparing or predicting their actual or alleged professional practices.’ "

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Kidney exchange is an intercommunal activity

From the Times of India:
A kidney swap involving Hindu, Muslim families that resurrected faith in humanity 
"CHANDIGARH: At a time when communal disharmony has become the norm in many parts of the world, a hospital in Mohali just resurrectected faith in humanity..."

And from the New Indian Express:

Friday, June 14, 2019

Will satellite companies sell C-Band spectrum by auction?

Auctionomics, the auction design company founded by my colleague Paul Milgrom, has been working with satellite broadcasters Intelsat (NYSE: I), SES (Euronext Paris: SESG), Eutelsat (Euronext Paris: ETL) and Telesat (the C- Band Alliance) to auction some of the rights to their C-Band spectrum.  Here's a press release

C-Band Alliance Filing on Proposed Commercial Auction Process

and here's a Bloomberg story:
Intelsat, SES Unveil Design for Private Sale of 5G Airwaves

It appears that the proposed auction is modeled on the FCC's incentive auction that repurposed some television broadcast spectrum licenses.  See my last year's post

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Update: the white paper, FUEL for 5G: Flexible Use and Efficient Licensing can be found here, preceded by a cover letter to the FCC.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Maine yesterday became 8th state to legalize assisted suicide

The AP has the story:

Maine becomes 8th state to legalize assisted suicide

"Maine legalized medically assisted suicide on Wednesday, becoming the eighth state to allow terminally ill people to end their lives with prescribed medication.

"Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, who had previously said she was unsure about the bill, signed it in her office.

“It is my hope that this law, while respecting the right to personal liberty, will be used sparingly,” said Mills.

"Oregon was the first state to legalize such assistance, in 1997, and it took over a decade for the next state, Washington, to follow suit. While still controversial, assisted suicide legislation is winning increasing acceptance in the United States, and this year at least 18 states considered such measures.

"Maine’s measure will allow doctors to prescribe a fatal dose of medication to terminally ill people. It declares that obtaining or administering life-ending medication is not suicide under state law, thereby legalizing the practice often called medically assisted suicide.

"The proposal had failed once in a statewide referendum and at least seven previous times in the Legislature. The current measure passed by just one vote in the House and a slim margin in the Senate.
"Maine joins seven other states and Washington, D.C., that have similar laws, according to the Death With Dignity National Center and the Death With Dignity Political Fund. The states are: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and New Jersey, whose governor signed the legislation earlier this year.

"Montana doesn’t have a specific law on the books, but the state Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that doctors could use a patient’s request for life-ending medication as a defense against criminal charges."

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Kidney trafficking in Egypt with Yemeni brokers and donors (video from Al Jazeera)

Al Jazeera reports that there is an active market for kidneys in Egypt, fueled by brokers in Yemen and abetted by the Yemeni embassy in Egypt, and a famous hospital there.

HT: Erling Skancke