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Fair Allocation of Vaccines, Ventilators and Antiviral Treatments: Leaving No Ethical Value Behind in Health Care Rationing

Parag Pathak, Tayfun Sönmez (), Utku Unver () and M. Bumin Yenmez ()

No 1015, Boston College Working Papers in Economics from Boston College Department of Economics

Abstract: COVID-19 has revealed several limitations of existing mechanisms for rationing scarce medical resources under emergency scenarios. Many argue that they abandon various ethical values such as equity by discriminating against disadvantaged communities. Illustrating that these limitations are aggravated by a restrictive choice of mechanism, we formulate pandemic rationing of medical resources as a new application of market design and propose a reserve system as a resolution. We develop a general theory of reserve design, introduce new concepts such as cutoff equilibria and smart reserves, extend previously-known ones such as sequential reserve matching, and relate these concepts to current debates.

Keywords: ethical rationing; reserve system; COVID-19; vaccine; ventilator (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D45 D47 I14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-07-31
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-des and nep-hea
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