Reinventing Liver Paired Exchange



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The Formation and Scientific Foundation of the Banu Bedestenci Sönmez Liver Paired Exchange System

The Banu Bedestenci Sönmez Liver Paired Exchange System was developed by Turkish-American scientists Tayfun Sönmez and Utku Ünver, who are affiliated with Boston College, one of the leading universities in the United States. This system was donated to İnönü University through a protocol in 2019 and has been in practical use at the institute since July 2022. It is based on a series of academic publications by Sönmez and Ünver, who introduced the kidney exchange and liver exchange into the field of market design literature. These publications, regarded as among the most significant contributions in the field of market design, played a pivotal role in the adoption of kidney exchange systems in numerous countries, starting in the early 2000s. They were also instrumental in Alvin Roth's receipt of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, who collaborated with Sönmez and Ünver on several of these studies. The contributions of Sönmez and Ünver, the architects of the Banu Bedestenci Sönmez Liver Paired Exchange System, were notably highlighted by the Nobel Prize Committee in recognizing this accomplishment.


"The work by Alvin Roth has enhanced our understanding of how markets work. Using empirical, experimental and theoretical methods, Roth and his coauthors, including A. Abdulkadiroğlu, P.A. Pathak, T. Sönmez and M.U. Ünver, have studied the institutions that improve market performance, thereby illuminating the need for stability and incentive compatibility. These contributions led directly to the successful redesign of a number of important real-world markets."

2012 Nobel Prize Committee, Scientific Background Document


The scientific and practical foundations of the Banu Bedestenci Sönmez Liver Paired Exchange System, which is based on medical ethics principles, can be gleaned from the interview below. The interview was conducted by Defne Üçer Şaylan, who serves as the Editor of Sarkaç, the popular science publication of the Science Academy, and features Tayfun Sönmez and Utku Ünver. Go To The Interview


Banu Bedestenci Sönmez Karaciğer Çapraz Nakil Sisteminin Oluşumu ve Bilimsel Altyapısı


Yilmaz, S., Sönmez, T., Ünver, M. U., Ince, V., Akbulut, S., Isik, B., and Emre, S. (2023). "The first 4-way liver paired exchange from an interdisciplinary collaboration between health care professionals and design economists." American Journal of Transplantation, Vol. 23, Issue 10, pp. 1612-1621.-1621, OCTOBER 2023


Yilmaz, S., Kizilay A., Bayramov N, Tekin A., and Emre S. (2023), "Multiple swaps tested: rehearsal for triple and five-liver paired exchanges,' Transplant Proceedings.


Ergin, H., Sönmez, T., and Ünver, M. U. (2020). Efficient and Incentive Compatible Liver Exchange. Econometrica, Vol. 88, Issue 3, pp. 965–1005. https://doi.org/10.3982/ECTA16400

Sönmez, T., Ünver, M. U., and Yenmez, M. B. (2020). "Incentivized Kidney Exchange," American Economic Review, Vol. 110, Issue 7, pp. 2198-2224.  


Ergin, H., Sönmez, T., and Ünver, M. U. (2017). "Dual-Donor Organ Exchange," Econometrica, Vol. 85, Issue 5, pp. 1645–1671. https://doi.org/10.3982/ecta13971

Roth, A. E., Sönmez, T., Ünver, M. U., Delmonico, F. L., and Saidman, S. L. (2006). "Utilizing List Exchange and Nondirected Donation through ‘Chain’ Paired Kidney Donations."  American Journal of Transplantation, Vol. 6, Issue 11, pp. 2694–2705.  


Roth, A. E., Sönmez, T., and Ünver, M. U. (2007). "Efficient Kidney Exchange: Coincidence of Wants in Markets with Compatibility-Based Preferences," American Economic Review, Vol. 97, Issue 3, pp. 828–851. https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.97.3.828

Roth, A. E., Sönmez, T., and Ünver, M. U.(2005). "Pairwise kidney exchange," Journal of Economic Theory, Vol. 125, Issue 2, pp. 151-188.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jet.2005.04.004

Roth, A. E., Sönmez, T., and Ünver, M. U. (2005). "A Kidney Exchange Clearinghouse in New England," American Economic Review, Vol. 95, Issue 2, pp. 376-380.  https://doi.org/10.1257/000282805774669989

Roth, A. E., Sönmez, T., and Ünver M. U.  (2004) “Kidney Exchange,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119, 457–488. https://doi.org/10.1162/0033553041382157