The Boston Globe profiles Al Roth, who together with Atila AbdulkadirogluTayfun SonmezUtku Unver and many others are leading the most important development in Microeconomics right now:  market design.

Roth’s most recent project is helping to set up a nationwide kidney exchange, which would make it possible to find even more matches than the existing regional networks can find on their own. Running this national network has been a bureaucratic nightmare, and since it opened for business last fall, only two transplants have actually been carried out under its auspices. The problem is that depending on blood type, it can be hard or easy to find someone a compatible kidney. And when a hospital has an easy-to-match patient, its administrators are more likely to withhold that information from the other hospitals in the network because they’d rather do the transplant themselves, and get the business.

Alex Tabarrok wrote a thought-provoking piece on some ideas to increase kidney donation.