Barnett, Saliba and Walker have argued that a market for kidneys can be made efficient and equitable if government acts as a third-party payer-of-last-resort. But because their analysis rests on an overly romantic view of government, their conclusion—that the medical shortage would be eliminated and everyone who could benefit from a kidney transplant would be able to get one—does not hold.

Michael Brooks is senior lecturer in the School of Economics at the University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia.
EconomyFree Market EconomicsHealth and Healthcare
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