What lessons can the donation industry provide to improve the efficiency of markets

16 December 2021

Organ transplantation saves lives. Economic research based on mechanism design provides for optimal organ exchange when donors have certain incompatibility. Liver exchange has been practiced in small numbers, mainly to overcome blood-type incompatibility between patients and their living donors. A donor can donate either his or her smaller left lobe or the larger right lobe, although the former option is safer. We can think of liver exchange as a market-design model with simpler two-way exchanges, and introduce an individually rational, efficient and incentive-compatible mechanism for such a market. During the lecture, we will discuss how different technical tools from economic theory can not only help increase the number of transplants by more than 30%, but can also increase the share of the safer left-lobe transplants. 

Haluk Ergin
Haluk Ergin | Lecturer
Associate Professor of Economics at University of California, Berkeley. He received his PhD from Princeton University. His research in economics focuses on choice theory, game theory, and mechanism design. His dissertation was based on a costly thinker model, analyzing a decision-maker who is uncertain of his tastes and preferences. The model generalizes the standard rational theory of individual decision making. In his thesis, Ergin identified the behavioral implications of this model and showed that it is compatible with a number of observed violations of the standard rational theory.
Sergei Izmalkov
Senior Lecturer, Program Director, "Master of of Arts in Economics"