The role of heterogeneity of patients’ preferences in kidney transplantation

Mesfin G. Genie, Antonio Nicoló, Giacomo Pasini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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We elicit time and risk preferences for kidney transplantation from the entire population of patients of the largest Italian transplant centre using a discrete choice experiment (DCE). We measure patients’ willingness-to-wait (WTW) for receiving a kidney with one-year longer expected graft survival, or a low risk of complication. Using a mixed logit in WTW-space model, we find heterogeneity in patients’ preferences. Our model allows WTW to vary with patients’ age and duration of dialysis. The results suggest that WTW correlates with age and duration of dialysis, and that accounting for patients’ preferences in the design of kidney allocation protocols could increase their welfare. The implication for transplant practice is that eliciting patients’ preferences could help in the allocation of “non-ideal” kidneys.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102331
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Early online date16 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

The authors wish to thank Noemi Pace and Lorenzo Rocco for helpful comments; Paolo Pellizzari for helping with the simulation; Giacomo Battiston and Veronica Buizza for excellent assistance in the implementation of the experiment. This project has been completed in collaboration with the team of surgeons of the Transplant Unit of the University of Padova Hospital, particularly Paolo Rigotti and Lucrezia Furian, who collaborate with us on the design of the DCE experiment. The authors are grateful to Mandy Ryan and participants of the HESG at the University of Aberdeen, to Nathalie P. Fleury and participants in the EuHEA in Lausanne, to participants in the EEEA-ESEM 2017 conference in Lisbon, iHEA 2017 conference in Boston, to seminar participants in Venice, Padova and VIVE-Copenaghen (DK), and to Sebastian Heidenreich and other participants in the health economics research unit (HERU) stated preference seminar at the University of Aberdeen for their comments. We would also like to thank Daniel Rigby (The University of Manchester) and Jürgen Maurer (Université de Lausanne) for their time, interest, and helpful comments. This work was supported by the “Progetto di Ateneo KIDNEY” from the University of Padua.


  • Discrete choice experiment
  • Marginal kidney
  • Mixed logit
  • Willingness to wait
  • TIME
  • KDPI


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