Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Don't take "No" for an answer: a reconsideration of how to do deceased donor registration

Don't Take 'No' For An Answer: An Experiment With Actual Organ Donor Registrations

Judd B. KesslerAlvin E. Roth

NBER Working Paper No. 20378
Issued in August 2014
NBER Program(s):   HC 
Over 10,000 people in the U.S. die each year while waiting for an organ. Attempts to increase organ transplantation have focused on changing the registration question from an opt-in frame to an active choice frame. We analyze this change in California and show it decreased registration rates. Similarly, a "field in the lab" experiment run on actual organ donor registration decisions finds no increase in registrations resulting from an active choice frame. In addition, individuals are more likely to support donating the organs of a deceased who did not opt-in than one who said "no" in an active choice frame.

The paper has attracted a small bit of more or less accurate press and blog attention, which is good for a paper that attempts to shed light on what may be a mistaken public policy initiative. Here's a sample.

One way to boost organ donations: Just keep asking

Don’t Take No For an Answer: Lessons From Organ Donation

In The Papers: Skills Gap, Organ Donation And Parental Politics

Ask often to get more organ donors

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