Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Capitalisn't conversation on kidneys and repugnance with Luigi Zingales and Kate Waldock

Here's a podcast and transcript of a conversation I had recently  with Kate Waldock and Luigi Zingales on the Chicago Booth Capitalisn't show, about kidney exchange, repugnant transactions and more:  Capitalisn’t: Abdomenable Transactions

The closing interaction between Luigi and Kate seemed to me to capture something important about compensation for donors, and maybe about repugnance:

Luigi: Al is a great guy. His contribution is extremely important for economics but more importantly, is also very important for humankind. However, listening to his discussion and listening to how complicated it is to do these matches even with his algorithm and how many people are left out, the question arises: Why don’t we pay for people to donate an organ? Of course, not your heart because it means that you are killing yourself, but what about a kidney? People can very happily live without a kidney. If they’re willing to donate a kidney for money, why is it so wrong?
Kate: Luigi, how much money would you have to be paid to sell your kidney?
Luigi: Wow, that’s a good question because I would give a kidney to my wife and my kids, but I don’t think I would sell it for money.
Kate: All right. Fair enough. I’m not sure there’s a price that I would accept either. "

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