Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sperm Banking and Egg Donation

Fascinating. I had no idea sperm donation was such a pain in the neck. There's a compelling argument that women should be paid more than a market-clearing wage because women may not consider themselves likely to be in the 1+ to 2+% of cases that have complications (though they may also overweight this probability, as people often do with dangers, in which case the market-clearing wage would already be higher than rational). Thus, a slight overhang of women who'd like to donate but can't because there's no demand is probably a decent outcome, because people who donate would be paid appropriately given what they'd demand if they actually understood the risks. It looks like there's more than that going on, but it depends on the severity of complications and the magnitude (and direction) of whatever informational imperfections there are, so we can't make that assessment just from the article.
The interesting question raised by the article is why the wage of sperm donation doesn't clear. Perhaps there is some reason why the payers (sperm banks) don't need to care if women who need sperm donors find them? Presumably sperm banks make money if women use them... The gender-cultural bias claimed by the article is one possibility, and probably accounts for part of it, but it seems like an overly simple explanation. Can anyone think of anything else/know anything about sperm banks?
I know there's been a big issue of donor anonymity (people who would otherwise donate sperm aren't willing to risk being forced to pay child support down the line by an inconsistent legal interpretation), but that should change the clearing wage, not cause it not to clear (and even if there's some sort of "intervention" by people in power to adjust for lack of anonymity, it should push wages up, not down, by the same "overhang" principle as that which applies to women who discount the risk of complications). Anything else?

1 comment:

  1. Hi, nice post. Well what can I say is that these is an interesting and very informative topic. Thanks for sharing your ideas, its not just entertaining but also gives your reader knowledge. Good blogs style too, Cheers!

    - The sperm donor