Monday, December 10, 2012

Altruistically Unbalanced Kidney Exchange

How interesting.  A "market" solution to the shortage of kidney donors.

Altruistically Unbalanced Kidney Exchange

Tayfun Sonmez


Boston College - Department of Economics

M. Utku Ünver


Boston College - Department of Economics

February 1, 2012
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 incompatible 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. 

Nod to Angry Alex

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Do you have suggestions on where we could find more examples of this phenomenon?

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