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Altruistically Unbalanced Kidney Exchange

Tayfun Sönmez () and Utku Unver

No 781, Boston College Working Papers in Economics from Boston College Department of Economics

Abstract: Although a pilot national live-donor kidney exchange program was recently launched in the US, the kidney shortage is increasing faster than ever. A new solution paradigm is able to incorporate compatible pairs in exchange. In this paper, we consider an exchange framework that has both compatible and in- compatible pairs, and patients are indifferent over compatible pairs. Only two-way exchanges are permitted due to institutional constraints. We explore the structure of Pareto-efficient matchings in this framework. The mathematical structure of this model turns out to be quite novel. We show that under Pareto-efficient matchings, the same number of patients receive transplants, and it is possible to construct Pareto-efficient matchings that match the same incompatible pairs while matching the least number of compatible pairs. We extend the celebrated Gallai-Edmonds Decomposition in the combinatorial optimization literature to our new framework. We also conduct comparative static exercises on how this decomposition changes as new compatible pairs join the pool.

Keywords: Kidney Exchange; Market Design; Matching (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C78 D78 D02 D63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gth and nep-hea
Date: 2011-10-01, Revised 2013-06-30
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Journal Article: Altruistically unbalanced kidney exchange (2014) Downloads
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