Working Paper | 2014

Don't Take 'No' for an Answer: An Experiment with Actual Organ Donor Registrations

by Judd B. Kessler and Alvin E. Roth

Abstract

Over 10,000 people in the U.S. die each year while waiting for an organ. Attempts to increase organ transplantation have focused on changing the registration question from an opt-in frame to an active choice frame. We analyze this change in California and show it decreased registration rates. Similarly, a "field in the lab" experiment run on actual organ donor registration decisions finds no increase in registrations resulting from an active choice frame. In addition, individuals are more likely to support donating the organs of a deceased who did not opt-in than one who said "no" in an active choice frame.

Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Health Care and Treatment; Giving and Philanthropy; Health Industry;

Citation:

Kessler, Judd B., and Alvin E. Roth. "Don't Take 'No' for an Answer: An Experiment with Actual Organ Donor Registrations." NBER Working Paper Series, No. 20378, August 2014.