Friday, December 2, 2016

New Zealand's new Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill

Here's the link to the new New Zealand legislation on removing disincentives from kidney donation, sent by  Frank McCormick.

Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill (formerly titled Financial Assistance for Live Organ Donors Bill)
The purpose of this Act is to remove a financial deterrent to the donation of organs by live donors.

9Who are qualifying donors
A person is a qualifying donor in relation to a donor surgery if, on application under Part 3, the Director-General is satisfied that—
the person will forgo earnings as a result of taking unpaid leave or otherwise ceasing employment to allow for his or her recuperation from the surgery; and
both the donor surgery and the surgery to implant the organ will be carried out in New Zealand; and
the recipient of the organ is eligible to receive services funded under the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000; and
the organ will be collected, implanted, and dealt with lawfully.
For the purposes of subsection (1)(d), the Director-General may assume the organ will be collected, implanted, and dealt with lawfully in the absence of information to the contrary.

Entitlement to earnings compensation while recuperating

10Qualifying donors entitled to earnings compensation for up to 12 weeks while recuperating


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Public lecture at Rice University, Dec 2

I'll be giving the RISE Lecture at Rice (RISE = The Rice Initiative for the Study of Economics).

Here are some other links with logistics (the event is free, but they want to know who is coming...):

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Removing financial dis-incentives from kidney donation in New Zealand

Frank McCormick points out this encouraging story from New Zealand, about removing financial disincentives from donating a kidney:

'Recognising the heroes' - MP's bill will give organ donors full compo while they recover

"Mr Bishop has steered a Member's Bill into law that will pay donors 100 per cent of their income for up to eight weeks plus childcare costs if needed.

In 2015 there were 78 live donors who donated a kidney or part of their liver, and "while the rate of live and deceased donors is slowly increasing, New Zealand still has one of the lowest organ donation rates in the world.

"The evidence is pretty clear that financial barriers is one thing that people do think about," Mr Bishop said."

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Game theoretic questions and the Trump transition, on Bloomberg Surveillance

Early yesterday morning I was interviewed on Bloomberg Surveillance, about what I thought were some game theoretic questions facing the Trump transition and administration. We talked about cabinet choices as commitments, and trade and climate agreements as collective action problems...

My contribution starts at minute 7:30 and goes until 12:35.

Play episode 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Fairness for Digital Infrastructure conference, January 19-20, 2017, at Penn

Fairness for Digital Infrastructure, January 19-20, 2017, UPenn, Philadelphia PA

"A large part of our digital infrastructure is designed to automate decision making, and ideally should improve economic efficiency. Automated decisions now govern, among many other things, whether we are approved for credit cards, what advertisements we are shown, and what search results we see. Algorithms determine the government’s perception of an individual’s risk (e.g. at airport security) or trustworthiness (e.g. in evaluating recidivism risk for parole decisions). The aim of the workshop is to better understand issues surrounding “unfairness” associated with the use of machine learning and automated decision making. This includes the frictions that are the cause of such inadvertent unfairness, and novel technical solutions to solve these problems.
This workshop will take place at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia on January 19th and 20th 2017.
Co-organizers: Sampath Kannan, Jamie Morgenstern, Mallesh Pai, Aaron Roth, Rakesh Vohra"

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Organ donation in Singapore: not rocking the boat

The Singapore Medical Journal publishes an extremely cautious article on Policy options for increasing the supply of transplantable kidneys in Singapore

It concludes with these
In order to increase the number of LDs within the existing regulatory framework, non-repugnant incentives can be considered, such as an organ donation award that not only recognises the significance of the donor’s act but also creates meaningful conversation on the importance of organ donation in saving lives. In addition, local online platforms can be created to help ESRD patients appeal to the public for directed kidney donations.

Meanwhile, in order to increase the number of DDs, it is critically important to establish administrative incentives for healthcare professionals to take responsibility for improving the organ transplantation process through QI programmes. Therefore, measures that can be considered include stronger incentives and training for personnel involved in donor-identification, coupled with greater transparency for both individual hospital DD actualisation rates and DCD statistics. Finally, potential donors and their immediate families can be further incentivised through a transplant priority system which favours donors’ families.

In conclusion, greater measures to encourage and facilitate donation can be implemented at all levels to meet society’s transplantation needs. Moving forward, all relevant institutions in Singapore are encouraged to contribute their insights and experience in increasing the supply of kidneys for transplantation so that a meaningful national conversation can commence and best practices adopted to address this urgent shortage."