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There were about 88,000 persons on the waiting list for organs, mostly kidneys, for transplant operations in the United States in the year 2005 (UNOS, 2005). In the UK, approximately 6000 people are waiting for organs – and fewer than 3000 transplants are performed each year (UK Transplant, 2005). In most countries there is a persistent shortage of organs resulting in a substantial loss of life and health.
(a) (4 points):Why do you think these shortages exist?
(b)(6 points): Suppose organs are available in a free market. However, buyers do not know the true quality of the organs that the sellers offer, and therefore must rely on the price of an organ (e.g. kidney) as an indicator of its quality.
Explain how the demand curve will look like in this market. Discuss the nature of the market equilibriumusing an appropriately labelled supply-demand diagram, and comment on the role of government in this market.
(c)(2 points):Continuing with this hypothetical case (of a market for organs), do you expect the marketdemand curve for organs to be price elastic or price inelastic? What about the supply curves? Explain why. (check that your responses are consistent with the supply and demand curves drawn in part (b))
(d)(4 points):“We should allow a market for human organs where purchase and sale of organs for transplant surgery can be conducted just like any other economic goods”. Critically assess this statement from an economicpoint of view.
(e)(4 points):Discuss a behavioural bias that may prevent many willing donors from donating organs. Discuss, providing evidence, a ‘nudge’that has proven successful in increasing organ donation.
END OF QUESTION 1
For the third consecutive years life expectancy at birth in the U.S. declined again in 2019. This is a dismal trend not seen since World War I. See:https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20191126/life-expectancy-shrinks-for-americas-working-age-adults#1
a) (10 points):Discuss the broad socio-economic disparities in life-expectancy observed in this report.
b) (10 points):Do you think stress due to socio-economic inequality has contributed to this unnatural trend? Explain, and illustrate with evidence.
END OF QUESTION 2
Question 3 (800words,20points)
“The emergency room is always busier on full moon nights”. There has been a reasonably widespread belief among medical professionals in the last decade that suicide rate rises with lunar phase.
a) (4 points): Is there any scientific evidence to validate this claim (cite at least two authentic journal articles).
b) (4 points): If the claim is valid, explain why there might be a higher incidence of suicide on full moon. If not, what behavioural bias is responsible for such views? Explain.
c) (4 points): Briefly discuss another example in healthcare where such bias may be present.
d) (8 points): What role does “present-bias” play in patients’ health-related (e.g. lifestyle) choices? Provide an example that has not been already discussed in class.
END OF QUESTION 3