Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Compensating kidney donors with charitable contributions--Choi, Gulati and Posner

Organ shortages remain despite the increase in live donation that has accompanied kidney exchange. But it is illegal to pay donors, so there's an ongoing discussion of other ways to induce a greater supply.  Here's a proposal by Choi, Gulati and Posner...

Altruism Exchanges and the Kidney Shortage

Stephen J. Choi 

New York University School of Law

G. Mitu Gulati 

Duke University - School of Law

Eric A. Posner 

University of Chicago - Law School

January 16, 2013

University of Chicago Institute for Law & Economics Olin Research Paper No. 630
NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 13-03 

Not enough kidneys are donated each year to satisfy the demand from patients who need them. Strong moral and legal norms interfere with market-based solutions. To improve the supply of kidneys without violating these norms, we propose legal reforms that would strengthen the incentive to donate based on altruistic motives. We propose that donors be permitted to donate kidneys in exchange for commitments by recipients or their benefactors to engage in charitable activity or to donate funds to charities chosen by donors. And we propose that charities be permitted to create Altruism Exchanges, which would permit large numbers of altruists to make charitable exchanges with each other, including but not limited to kidney donations. Altruism Exchanges would solve two significant problems with the current system of voluntary kidney donations: the risk of default and the lack of liquidity.

 HT: Alexander Berger

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