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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Impact of Presumed Consent Law on Organ Donation: An Empirical Analysis from Quantile Regression for Longitudinal Data


Human organs for transplantation are extremely valuable goods and their shortage is a problem that has been verified in most countries around the world, generating a long waiting list for organ transplants. This is one of the most pressing health policy issues for governments. To deal with this problem, some researchers have suggested a change in organ donation law, from informed consent to presumed consent. However, few empirical works have been done to measure the relationship between presumed consent and the number of organ donations. The aim of this paper is to estimate that impact, using a new method proposed by Koenker (2004): quintile regression for longitudinal data, for a panel of 34 countries in the period 1998-2002. The results suggest that presumed consent has a positive effect on organ donation, which varies in the interval 21-26% for the quartiles {0.25; 0.5; 0.75}, the impact being stronger in the left tail of the distribution. Health expenditure has an important role on the response variable as well, the coefficient estimate varying between 42-52%.

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