The Public Interest

Organs for sale

Eric Cohen

Spring 2003

THE great virtue of economists is that they see a particular dimension of social reality with great precision. The great danger is that having seen a slice of human life, they imagine themselves to have seen the whole, and they prescribe reforms with a passion that befits those who believe that an irrational world is ignoring their perfectly rational models. In their new book on organ markets entitled The U.S. Organ Procurement System: A Prescription for Reform, David L. Kaserman and A.  H. Barnett display both the virtues and vices of economists, but more the vices than the virtues.

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