Speaker: Tinglong Dai, Johns Hopkins University
Date & Time: October 22, 2021, Friday, 16:00
Title: Does Transportation Mean Transplantation? Impact of New Airline Routes on Sharing of Cadaveric Kidneys
Abstract: Every year, nearly 5,000 patients die while waiting for kidney transplants, and yet an estimated 3,500 procured kidneys are discarded.
Such a polarized coexistence of dire scarcity and massive wastefulness has been mainly driven by insufficient pooling of cadaveric kidneys across geographic regions. Although numerous policy initiatives are aimed at broadening organ pooling, they rarely account for a key friction—efficient airline transportation, ideally direct flights, is necessary for long-distance sharing, because of the time-sensitive nature of kidney transplantation. Conceivably, transplant centers may be reluctant to accept kidney offers from far-off locations without direct flights. In this paper, we estimate the effect of the introduction of new airline routes on broader kidney sharing. By merging the U.S.
airline transportation and kidney transplantation data sets, we create a unique sample tracking (1) the evolution of airline routes connecting all the U.S. airports and (2) kidney transplants between donors and recipients connected by these airports. We estimate the introduction of a new airline route increases the number of shared kidneys by 7.3%. We also find a net increase in the total number of kidney transplants and a decrease in the organ discard rate with the introduction of new routes.
Notably, the posttransplant survival rate remains largely unchanged, although average travel distance increases after the introduction of new airline routes. Our results are robust to alternative empirical specifications and have important implications for improving access to the U.S. organ transplantation system.
Full text available at: https://bit.ly/airtx (This is a joint work with Guihua Wang and Ronghuo Zheng.)
Bio: Tinglong Dai is a Professor of Operations Management and Business Analytics at Johns Hopkins University. At Johns Hopkins, he is on the leadership team of the university-wide Business of Health Initiative and the executive committee of the Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science. As a leading expert in healthcare analytics, Dr. Dai has been quoted hundreds of times in the media, including Associated Press, Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, New York Times, NPR, PBS, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. In 2021, he was named as one of the World’s Best 40 Under 40 Business School Professors by Poets & Quants.
Dr. Dai’s research interests span across healthcare, marketing-operations interfaces, and human-AI interaction. His work has been published in leading journals such as Management Science, M&SOM, Marketing Science, and Operations Research, and has been recognized by Johns Hopkins Discovery Award, INFORMS Public Sector Operations Research Best Paper Award, POMS Best Healthcare Paper Award, and Wickham Skinner Early Career Award. He is an Associate Editor of M&SOM and a Senior Editor of Production and Operations Management. He earned a PhD (2013) in Operations Management and Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University.