Itai Ashlagi

Management Science and Engineering
Huang Engineering Center, 262
Stanford University
475 Via Ortega
Stanford, CA 94305

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2018Market Failure in Kidney Exchange
with Nikhil Agarwal, Eduardo Azevedo, Clayton R. Featherstone, Ă–mer Karaduman: w24775
We show that kidney exchange markets suffer from traditional market failures that can be fixed to increase transplants by 25%-55%. First, we document that the market is fragmented and inefficient: most transplants are arranged by hospitals instead of national platforms. Second, we propose a model to show two sources of inefficiency: hospitals do not internalize their patients’ benefits from exchange, and current mechanisms sub-optimally reward hospitals for submitting patients and donors. Third, we estimate a production function and show that individual hospitals operate below efficient scale. Eliminating this inefficiency requires a combined approach using new mechanisms and solving agency problems.
July 2012The Need for (long) Chains in Kidney Exchange
with David Gamarnik, Michael A. Rees, Alvin E. Roth: w18202
It has been previously shown that for sufficiently large pools of patient-donor pairs, (almost) efficient kidney exchange can be achieved by using at most 3-way cycles, i.e. by using cycles among no more than 3 patient-donor pairs. However, as kidney exchange has grown in practice, cycles among n>3 pairs have proved useful, and long chains initiated by non-directed, altruistic donors have proven to be very effective. We explore why this is the case, both empirically and theoretically. We provide an analytical model of exchange when there are many highly sensitized patients, and show that large cycles of exchange or long chains can significantly increase efficiency when the opportunities for exchange are sparse. As very large cycles of exchange cannot be used in practice, long non-simult...
January 2011Individual Rationality and Participation in Large Scale, Multi-Hospital Kidney Exchange
with Alvin E. Roth: w16720
As multi-hospital kidney exchange clearinghouses have grown, the set of players has grown from patients and surgeons to include hospitals. Hospitals have the option of enrolling only their hard-to-match patient-donor pairs, while conducting easily arranged exchanges internally. This behavior has already started to be observed. We show that the cost of making it individually rational for hospitals to participate fully is low in almost every large exchange pool (although the worst-case cost is very high), while the cost of failing to guarantee individually rational allocations could be large, in terms of lost transplants. We also identify an incentive compatible mechanism.
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