Limits to Altruism: Organ Supply and Educational expenditures
T. Randolph Beard
David L. Kaserman
Richard P. Saba
Current U.S. law prohibits compensation for cadaveric organ donation. The resulting organ shortage causes thousands of deaths per year. The primary tool currently relied on by the organ procurement industry to increase organ supply is educational spending aimed at both industry professionals and the general public. This article evaluates the effectiveness of such spending across a fairly comprehensive and unique sample of free-standing U.S. organ procurement organizations, controlling for the size of the organization, population demographics, and geographic region. The authors find no evidence that such spending is effective on the margin and conclude that the organ shortage is unlikely to be resolved by increased educational expenditures. (JEL "I18", "I11") Copyright 2004 Western Economic Association International.
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