Barter markets in everything?

by on March 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm in Economics, Sports | Permalink

A die-hard cricket fan wants to sell his kidney for India-Pakistan semifinals match ticket.
Here is the link and I thank Deane for the pointer.  I’ll say it again: I favor markets in human organs, but I think most of the gains from those trades will accrue to the buyers.

Chris March 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Not unlike markets in whole humans.

Philo March 28, 2011 at 2:22 pm

That depends on the prices!

Bill March 28, 2011 at 2:27 pm

What will you give me for an economist with a heart.

They are very hard to find.

Andrew March 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm

But he’s also a potential buyer. Cheap organs is kind of the point. There are excess kidneys everywhere you look.

anon March 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm

How about kidney swaps? At a young age two pre-matched people sign a deal saying if the other needs a kidney anytime the partner would be obliged to give. Would there be a market for such organ-swap instruments?

ben March 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm

but I think most of the gains from those trades will accrue to the buyers.

Yes but it’s a World Cup semi final. This might be an exception.

Adrian Ratnapala March 31, 2011 at 10:09 am

Calm down, it’s only a one-day match.

John March 28, 2011 at 4:58 pm

I suspect most of the non-pecuniary gains will go to the buyer, the pecuniary gains will largely go to the market maker.

kiwi dave March 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Sadly, I don’t think anyone is offering to trade internal organs for a ticket to the other semi-final, Sri Lanka vs. New Zealand (not nearly as much at stake in nationalism terms, and with one side — not my side — red-hot favourite).

David R. Henderson March 28, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Tyler,
Why did you use the word “but?”

db March 28, 2011 at 10:49 pm

You have to wonder what his second best plan is to see the match. What are the odds that it is riskier to his health than losing a kidney?

Elliot Rosewater March 28, 2011 at 11:26 pm

I like how tickets are being sold for 25,000 Rupees, or about $500.

Indian March 29, 2011 at 12:17 am

What’s wrong with that?

Philo March 28, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Since Tyler doesn’t usually answer commenters, I’ll fill in for him in answering David Henderson:

Sir, have you no sense of *fairness*? An exchange, even if voluntary, is not *fair* unless both parties benefit *equally*. (Or perhaps the less-well-off party has to benefit *more*? Oops . . . maybe *my* sense of fairness is a bit shaky!)

Indian March 29, 2011 at 12:19 am

“most of the gains from those trades will accrue to the buyers.”

True for a lot of other legal trades.

emerson March 28, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Just like most of the gains from a kidney transplant go to the patient, not the surgeon. Just like the most of the gains from a purchase of eyeglasses goes to the buyer, not the seller. Who cares who receives most of the gains?

By the way, check out the comments to this post on kidney transplant tourism: http://www.gadling.com/2009/01/29/kidney-transplant-tourism-to-hit-singapore/ If there was any question before, there are PLENTY of people willing to sell their kidneys.

anon March 29, 2011 at 12:08 am

If kidney-sales get legal I hope they make prostitution legal too. Same principle.

James C March 29, 2011 at 2:29 am

if organ trading was legalized, wouldnt the organ market dry up for the ones most desperate? people who didnt plan on donating their organs when they die now have incentive to sell in order to leave behind more money to loved ones. and unlike the organs of live donors, the organs of the deceased have a certain time limit before theyre unusable. so their loved ones would be forced to sell their organs at whatever price they can get. wouldnt this drive down the price live organ traders normally command when it was still a black market? or am i missing something here?

Cliff March 29, 2011 at 9:53 am

Yes, organ prices would come down from black market prices because of increasing supply, saving untold thousands of lives, which is the point. The families of dead people being able to sell, but at a modest price, does not seem like a significant problem.

James C March 30, 2011 at 1:45 pm

my point was that rapidly declining prices doesnt help the guy who planned on selling his kidney and half his liver to pay for his kids operation, or any other situation for the desperately poor who make up organ traders.

Ex-Kiwi Dave March 29, 2011 at 10:00 am

“…but I think most of the gains from those trades will accrue to the buyers.”

A final chance to see Sachin Tendulkar, India’s aging star and possibly the 2nd-greatest cricketer in history, in action at the World Cup — and against Pakistan, in a semi-final, and at home?

Good god, Tyler: you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about! That ticket would be cheap at twice the price!

k April 3, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Hey , India won the world cup!

Yay!

consumer complaint April 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Tickets were costly and hard to come by, and going by the match result it was worth a kidney ;)

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