We assess the causal effect of the National Kidney Registry (NKR), the largest national kidney-exchange network in the U.S., on kidney-exchange outcomes. Analyzing a unique database hosted by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) that contains information on all kidney donors, wait-listed candidates, and transplant recipients in the U.S., we find that patients in an NKR hospital are 2.5 to 3 times more likely than their counterparts in a non-NKR hospital to receive a transplant from a living donor, conditional on wait-time. At the same time, NKR participation does not have a significant effect on the desirability of donors and the health status of recipients. We employ various approaches to ensure our finding is robust in addressing the non-random sorting of patients and donors. As far as the outcomes we study, the expansion of the NKR brings about an overall positive impact on the kidney exchange market.
First version, January 17, 2020
I11: Analysis of Health Care Markets
L14: Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation; Networks