Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Lund University, Department of Economics

No 2016:11: Kidney Exchange over the Blood Group Barrier

Tommy Andersson () and Jörgen Kratz ()
Additional contact information
Tommy Andersson: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Jörgen Kratz: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: Medical technology making kidney transplantation over the blood group barrier possible is now a reality. This paper investigates how such technology should be implemented when designing pairwise kidney exchange programs. The possibility to receive a kidney transplant from a blood group incompatible donor motivates an extension of the preference domain, allowing patients to distinguish between compatible donors and half-compatible donors (i.e., blood group incompatible donors that are made compatible using immunosuppressive drugs). It is demonstrated that the number of transplants can be increased by providing an incentive for patients with half-compatible donors to participate in kidney exchange programs. The results also suggest that the technology is beneficial for patient groups that are traditionally disadvantaged in kidney exchange programs (e.g., blood group O patients). The positive effect of allowing transplants over the blood group barrier is larger than the corresponding effects of including compatible patient-donor pairs and allowing three-way exchanges in addition to pairwise exchanges.

Keywords: market design; pairwise kidney exchange; blood group incompatibility; priority matchings; half-compatibility priority matchings

JEL-codes: C78; D02; D63; D78

48 pages, First version: June 17, 2016. Revised: November 29, 2017. Earlier revisions: September 28, 2016.

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