NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Daniel C. Waldinger

Furman Center, New York University
Wilf Hall, Room 218
139 Macdougal Street
New York, NY 10012

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Institutional Affiliation: New York University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

February 2019An Empirical Framework for Sequential Assignment: The Allocation of Deceased Donor Kidneys
with Nikhil Agarwal, Itai Ashlagi, Michael A. Rees, Paulo J. Somaini: w25607
An organ transplant can improve a patient’s life while also realizing substantial savings in healthcare expenditures. Like many other scarce public resources, organs from deceased donors are rationed to patients on a waitlist via a sequential offer mechanism. The theoretical trade-offs in designing these rationing systems are not well understood and depend on agent preferences. This paper establishes an empirical framework for analyzing waitlist systems and applies it to study the allocation of deceased donor kidneys. We model the decision to accept an organ or wait for a more preferable organ as an optimal stopping problem, and develop techniques to compute equilibria of counterfactual mechanisms. Our estimates show that while some types of kidneys are desirable for all patients, there is...
 
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