Kurt R. Sweat

I am on the 2023-2024 academic job market.

I am a PhD Candidate in the Economics Department at Stanford University.  

My research employs econometric models grounded in economic theory to study market design in healthcare settings. My recent research has focused on the design of the heart transplant waitlist in the United States.

Stanford University

Department of Economics

579 Jane Stanford Way

Stanford, CA 94305

kurtsw@stanford.edu 

Research Fields:

Market Design, Health Economics

Econometrics, Industrial Organization

Expected graduation date: June 2024

Dissertation Committee:

Alvin Roth (primary):

alroth@stanford.edu

Frank Wolak:

wolak@zia.stanford.edu

Paulo Somaini:

soma@stanford.edu

Itai Ashlagi:

iashlagi@stanford.edu

Han Hong:

doubleh@stanford.edu

Christopher Almond:

calmond@stanford.edu


Research

Endogenous Priority in Centralized Matching Markets: The Design of the Heart Transplant Waitlist (Job Market Paper

[Link to current draft]


Centralized matching markets that prioritize specific participants to achieve certain policy goals are common in practice, but priority is often assigned using endogenous characteristics of participants. In the heart transplant waitlist in the United States, the treatment that a patient receives is used to assign waitlist priority. Policymakers recently changed the prioritization in an attempt to reduce waitlist mortality by assigning higher priority to patients receiving specific treatments previously associated with high waitlist mortality. First, I document a significant response to waitlist incentives in treatments given and transplants that take place. Then, I develop and estimate a structural model of treatment and transplant choices to evaluate the effect of the policy change on patients' outcomes and doctors' decisions. I find three main results from my model. First, there is little change in aggregate survival, and the effect of the change has been mainly redistributive. Second, the change has effectively targeted patients with lower untransplanted survival, with these patients receiving higher expected survival under the current design. Third, the effect on survival is largely driven by changes in the decision to accept/decline offers for transplants rather than directly due to a change in treatment decisions. The policy implications suggest that future designs of the waitlist should disincentivize declining offers for transplants.

Research-in-progress (* denotes co-first authorship for medical publications)


Contemporary Pediatric Heart Transplant Waitlist Mortality and the Impact of the 2016 UNOS Allocation Change 

(Alyssa Power*, Kurt R. Sweat*, Alvin Roth, John C. Dykes, Beth Kaufman, Michael Ma, Sharon Chen, Seth A. Hollander, Elizabeth Profita, David N. Rosenthal, Lynsey Barkoff, Chiu-Yu Chen, Ryan R. Davies, and Christopher S. Almond)

Revise and Resubmit, Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Submission available upon request.


Signaling or Muddling in Assignment Mechanisms: An Application to the Heart Transplant Waitlist 

(Nikhil Agarwal, Charles Hodgson, Paulo Somaini, and Kurt R. Sweat)

Conference presentations


The University of Tokyo Market Design Center (December 2023):

Rising Stars in Market Design

INFORMS 2023 (October 2023):

SA69. Applications in Market Design

International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, 43rd Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions (April 2023):

"Racial and Geographic Disparities in Utilization of Listing by Exception Among US Children Listed for Heart Transplantation" (D.M. Torpoco Rivera, K.R. Sweat, B. Kaufman, R. Kameny, A. Burgart, M. Miller, E. Profita, S. Hollander, C.S. Almond)

"Racial Disparities in the Use of Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) in US Children Listed for Heart Transplantation" (D.M. Torpoco Rivera, K.R. Sweat, B. Kaufman, J. Dykes, J. Murray, T. Nasirov, A. Burgar, M. Miller, R. Kameny, C.S. Almond)

International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, 42nd Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions (April 2022):

"Pediatric VAD Growth in the US: What Factors May be Driving Growth Jumps?” (M.S. Iqbal, K.R. Sweat, J.C. Dykes, J. Murray, M. Ma, E. Martin, D.N. Rosenthal, C.S. Almond)

"Impact of the 2018 Adult Heart Allocation Change on Pediatric Donor Offers and Waitlist Outcomes" (K.R. Sweat, B. Kaufman, L. Barkoff, C. Chen, E. Profita, E. Lee, M. Rosenberg, S. Chen, S. Hollander, C.S. Almond)

International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, 41st Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions (March 2021):

"Waitlist Mortality for Children Listed for Heart Transplant in the United States: How are We Doing?" (A. Power, K.R. Sweat, J.C. Dykes, M. Ma, S. Chen, J. Schmidt, B.D. Kaufman, S.A. Hollander, E. Profita, D.N. Rosenthal, C. Chen, C.S. Almond)

"UNOS Match Runs for Pediatric Heart Transplant Organ Allocation—How Well Do They Sequence Patients Based on Medical Urgency?" (K.R. Sweat, A. Power, J.C. Dykes, M. Ma, R. Davies, S.A. Hollander, E. Profita, D.N. Rosenthal, C. Chen, C.S. Almond)

Teaching

ECON 271: Intermediate Econometrics II (1st-Year PhD Econometrics)

Winter 2023, Stanford University, Teaching Assistant

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.

Instructor evaluation: 4.6 out of 5.0

ECON 256: Energy Markets and Policy

Winter 2023, Stanford University, Teaching Assistant

Instructor evaluation: 4.0 out of 5.0

ECON 270: Intermediate Econometrics I (1st-Year PhD Econometrics)

Fall 2022, Stanford University, Teaching Assistant

Instructor evaluation: 4.6 out of 5.0

BIOS 203: Field Experiments and Market Design for Health Policy and Medicine

Fall 2021, Stanford University, Secondary Instructor (Syllabus)

Instructor evaluation: 5.0 out of 5.0