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One Chance in a Million: Altruism and the Bone Marrow Registry

Ted Bergstrom (), Rodney Garratt () and Damien Sheehan-Connor ()

University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series from Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara

Abstract: Transplants of donated stem cells save the lives of many patients with blood diseases. Donation is somewhat painful, but rarely has lasting adverse effects. Patients can accept transplants only from donors with compatible immune systems. Those lacking a sibling match must seek donations from the population at large. The probability that two persons of the same race are compatible is less than 1/10,000. Health authorities maintain a registry of several million genetically-tested potential donors who have agreed to donate if asked. We study the peculiar structure of voluntary public good provision represented by the registry, and compare the marginal benefits and marginal costs of expanding the registry.

Keywords: altruism; voluntary contributions of public goods; value of statistical life; benefit-cost analysis; donations; bone marrow registry; genetics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008-04-07
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Related works:
Journal Article: One Chance in a Million: Altruism and the Bone Marrow Registry (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: One Chance in a Million: Altruism and the Bone Marrow Registry (2007) Downloads
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