What We Can Learn from Iran
Alex Tabarrok passes on word that only one country in the world has an adequate supply of donor kidneys for transplants: Iran. The reason? They allow compensation for donors.
The government pays donors $1,200 plus limited health insurance coverage. In addition, charitable organizations also provide renumeration to impoverished donors. Thus demonstrating that Iran has something to teach the world about charity as well as about markets. Will wonders never cease? Recipients may also contribute to donor renumeration.
While a little queasy about having desperate families bidding for organs, not to mention the theoretical possibility of incentivizing foul play, I’m inclined to support such a plan. I am, however, highly dubious of data coming out of totalitarian states. For that matter, I’m suspicious that if the Iranian government feels strongly enough about organ donation that they’re offering stipends, the degree to which potential donors have much choice might be somewhat constrained.