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Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis


Should people be paid to donate organs? Seminar addresses trade-offs

08 Dec 2015

Selling ones’ organs to restore someone else’s health is generally prohibited by law. Applied economist Nicola Lacetera presents a CHEPA seminar on Weds. Dec. 16 that addresses the trade-offs experienced when people are paid to donate organs.

The seminar, Morality-efficiency trade-offs in repugnant markets: The case of payments for organ donors, draws from his research which found that providing additional information about the lifesaving and cost-saving benefits of an organ market significantly increased the approval rating of making some form of payment, with no significant variation across age or gender.

Lacetera is an associate professor in the Department of Management at the University of Toronto Mississauga, with a cross-appointment to the Strategic Management area at Rotman and to the Economics Department.

e is an applied economist with a number of research interests:

First, he has collaborated with several non-profit organizations to conduct field experiments to study the motivations for altruistic behaviour, and in particular blood and organ donations, thus informing these organizations on how to enhance contributions from donors.

A second line of research concerns how ethical beliefs affect the acceptance of certain “controversial” transactions (such as paying for blood or organs, patenting living organisms, or prostitution).

Third, he uses large data sets from used car auctions to assess the determinants of value and quality of automobile.

Finally, Lacetera studies how different individual motivations and institutional arrangements affect the production and commercialization of knowledge.

He holds a PhD in strategy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA in economics from Bocconi University in Milano, Italy. He previously served as assistant professor of Economics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. 

The seminar will be held on 
Weds. Dec 16 from 12:30 to 1:30 in CRLB-119. All are welcome. The seminar will be available remotely for those unable to attend.

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