Organ donations within Sweden: Exploring organizational effects regionally

University essay from Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för nationalekonomi

Abstract: Sweden has an unusually low rate of deceased organ donors compared to most other European countries. However, Sweden has factors that have been shown in previously literature to contribute to higher rates of organ donation, with its favorable legislative framework and positive attitude toward organ donation among the population. While the average donation rate is low, some counties in Sweden perform at similar levels to the better performing European countries, while other counties are performing substantially worse. In our thesis, we discuss the plausible organizational reasons behind the differences, and construct a panel data set of the number of donators per million population for the 21 Swedish counties between year 2008 and 2013, and utilize a pooled OLS model to investigate the sources of the differences between the counties. We find that the presence of a transplantation hospital has no effect on the donation rates, while presenting some evidence that the presence of a neurosurgery unit does have a significantly positive impact on donation rates. Moreover, time-invariant dummy variables are used to capture the organizational effects, which we find to be significant. Our conclusion is that there is considerable variation in the organ donation rates between counties that is not related to demographic or behavioral factors.

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