Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Rent Seeking Kills

"It's illegal to offer compensation for a transplantable human organ. As a result of the price control there is a shortage of organs and thousands of unnecessary deaths. None of this is news to readers of this blog. The price control on organs, however, kills in another less well recognized manner. The reduced supply of organs raises their value. Organ donors can't capture that value so who does? Transplant centers.

Transplant centers are artificially high profit centers because they capture some of the rents generated by the shortage of organs. As a result, there are too many transplant centers in the United States and each center performs too few transplants. Practice makes perfect so when a transplant center performs only a few operations a year lives are lost."

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