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How a Harvard Economist Redesigned the Kidney Marketplace

Nov 29, 2016 | 831 videos
Video by Redglass Pictures

A new series from the National Academy of Sciences explores the broad role of social science research in benefitting society. This episode profiles a man named Fielding Daniel and his wife, Amy, who were told to wait years so that Daniel could get a kidney. This led them to the market economist Alvin Roth, whose research and redesign of the kidney marketplace saved countless lives. Roth pinpointed the main problem: There were lots of people who wanted to give kidneys but couldn't because their loved ones weren’t a match. "As an economist that's not the way an orderly market works," he explains in this short film. "So, I got together with some colleagues and said let's think how we would trade kidneys."

This film is the first part of the series From Research To Reward, created by Redglass Pictures for The National Academy of Sciences.

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Author: Nadine Ajaka

About This Series

A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.