More From the Free Market–Supply of Sperm and Eggs Up, Demand Down

As I’ve noted before, we have a free market for reproductive materials here in the US.   These materials are widely bought and sold.

I’m neither a tremendous fan of nor an expert on how markets work.  But the basic dynamics don’t seem all that tricky to me.   And so this story isn’t really surprising.   People need money.  Thus more are looking to sell what they can, including sperm and eggs.

At the same time supply is up, demand is down.  (The article refers to this as a paradox, but it doesn’t seem so to me.   There’s less money out there, so people have less to spend.   ART is expensive, and if it is successful you end up with a child, which is even more expensive.)

I assume this is really just one manifestation of a broader societal condition.   I wouldn’t be surprised to find that more women are willing to be paid surrogates, for example.    I haven’t seen that story, but it ought to be out there, too.

Now I would expect that if the supply is up and the demand is down that the prices will fall.  Isn’t that the way economics is supposed to function?


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