May 4, 2012

Ethnic economics of egg donation

From the L.A. Times:
Asian women command premium prices for egg donation in U.S. 
The high prices reflect growing demand and a shortage of willing donors. Asian women can get about $10,000 to $20,000 for their eggs, while women of other ethnic groups typically get about $6,000. 
... Fertility industry experts say there are several reasons Asian eggs are in demand, including a cultural aversion to adoption. If a woman is infertile, they say, many Asian couples would prefer to use the husband's sperm with a donor's egg to conceive a child that carries at least half of the couple's genetic identity than to adopt a baby from other parents. 
Demand is also high among Jewish couples, many of whom put off having kids to pursue higher education or careers, clinic operators say. According to a report from the United Jewish Communities, half of Jewish American women have college degrees and 21% have graduate degrees. They tend to marry later, the survey says, and have lower fertility rates. 
Clinic operators say there has been a shortage of Asian eggs for several years but that the deficit has been exacerbated by two factors: rising Chinese wealth, which has given more couples the means to come to the U.S. for surrogate parent programs, and this year a surge in Chinese couples interested in having babies in the Year of the Dragon, considered the luckiest year in the 12-year zodiac calendar. 
One reason for the lack of supply is that Asian women are less likely to go through the discomfort of egg donations out of financial need. On average, Asian women earn higher salaries and are more likely to be college-educated than their counterparts in other racial groups, according to Labor Department statistics. Asian females out-earn white women by 13%, black women by 31% and Latinas by 52%, the agency said. 
"A lot of young women who elect to be egg donors do so for financial reasons," Vorzimer said. "But many Asian and Jewish donors who are in such high demand are young ladies who do not need that financial compensation. They are financially secure, so they don't need to donate their eggs to fund a college education or a down payment on a first home."

37 comments:

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

Clearly, the EEOC should investigate this blatant gender gap in wages. Women at making thousands, while men at getting $50 a pop, no pun intended.

I am Lugash.

sabril said...

I wonder what the demand is for black egg and sperm donors. Any thoughts, Whiskey?

Anonymous said...

"Asian females out-earn white women by 13%, black women by 31% and Latinas by 52%, the agency said."

oooh lookeee here at the wage gap! Must be the patriarchy keeping the women divided based on racial lines by paying cute women more. Those evil evil men!

"Asian women can get about $10,000 to $20,000 for their eggs, while women of other ethnic groups typically get about $6,000"

Obviously explained by the need for subservience and social construction of beauty.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to know what percentage of white women are requesting Asian eggs or sperm for fertilization. Chinese kids are known for precocity and obedience. In a prestige arms race to get ones kid into the Ivy League, a few Asian genes couldn't hurt.

Henry Canaday said...

Our Local Lefty Book Store recently hosted Harvard government professor Michael Sandel, whose just-published book discusses taking market economics too far, for example in paying drug-addicted women to sterilize themselves, sluggish students to read more and clever people to provide eggs or sperm. Sandel’s arguments struck me as generally true but trivial, relative to our many other problems.

Wednesday night was liberal Valhalla for third-alphabet Washington at the old LLB as Paul Krugman spoke about his new book, whose title is in the imperative mood, with an exclamation point at the end.

Krugman was very smart, very funny and very arrogant, yet still boyishly likeable. Arrogance does not bother me if it is merely a personal style since I find it a relief from the fake humility of most of our intellectual elite. But arrogance does bother me when it narrows thought.

One way to understand Krugman is to realize that he seems to believe American society today is, except for rights accorded blacks, women and gays, much like it was when he grew up on Long Island in the 1960s.

But, as Charles Murray has noticed, it’s not. And that’s a problem for too self-confident macroeconomists, because the nature of society matters in macroeconomics.

We are becoming, on average, less morally responsible to each other and thus more dependent on government. Krugman’s remedy for the sluggish economy -- blow out spending restraints for a while -- is a respectable technical solution for a technical economic problem. But the nature of politics means this solution may make people more dependent on government and even less morally responsible to each other.

BrokenSymmetry said...

"blow out spending restraints for a while"

Does Krugman think spending has been restrained these last few decades? And that ramping up what has caused the mess in the first place is the way to go?

Anonymous said...

"Clearly, the EEOC should investigate this blatant gender gap in wages. Women at making thousands, while men at getting $50 a pop, no pun intended."

Supply and demand. You can harvest only a few ovaries at a time from a woman, but one man can impregnate the entire female population of Albania in a single shot.

beowulf said...

'One way to understand Krugman is to realize that he seems to believe American society today is, except for rights accorded blacks, women and gays, much like it was when he grew up on Long Island in the 1960s."

I'd disagree...

"For the America I grew up in -- the America of the 1950's and 1960's -- was a middle-class society, both in reality and in feel. The vast income and wealth inequalities of the Gilded Age had disappeared... But that was long ago. The middle-class America of my youth was another country. We are now living in a new Gilded Age, as extravagant as the original."
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/20/magazine/for-richer.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

Maya said...

So how much for a Jewish egg?
Also, can't they just go harvest eggs in rural Korea or rural Taiwan? Are there laws against international egg hunts?

Anonymous said...

"Clearly, the EEOC should investigate this blatant gender gap in wages. Women at making thousands, while men at getting $50 a pop, no pun intended."

It's the process. Egg donation is grueling by comparison to a plop, and it is no fun at all. It takes a while recover, involves a lot of hormone taking and I've read of some cases where the woman has lasting problems. They don't just go in an extract an egg with an eye dropper.

I was on an egg donor sight and the descriptions of the donors were interesting. Obviously appearance is important as the traits might be inherited. I noticed pure blood black Africans--Nigerians from west Africa, not Somali or Ethiopian--with descriptions of their hair as "straight," an obvious falsity. But the people who would care about that--black women, mostly older--would know what they're getting anyway. I saw it as a PC concession from the white people putting up the web site and collecting the data. If the lady wants to say her weave or cheically straighted hair was "straight" then ok, though it's not going to leak into the dnac Interesting.
Because in all the other descriptions people had to be absoultely honest about their attributes. Bottle blondes cannot advertise themselves as blond; a suntanned paleface cannot advertise herself as olive skinned. But heaven help them if a black with fake hair cannot advertise herself as straight haired.
As far as what people want, the Danes have the market cornered for sperm. Tall, blond and ivy league are preferred. I don't get it, as I would think dark hair would be more popular and I know red hair is not desired for men.

Reg Cæsar said...

...the nature of society matters in macroeconomics.

We are becoming, on average, less morally responsible to each other and thus...
Mr Canaday

...and thus never mind the government, we're going the way of late Rome.

This is one issue above all where 'ethic' should trump 'ethnic'. It's scary that the older I get, the smarter the Pope seems, but there's a lot to be said for the Church's condemnation of this a species of adultery. Then there's the poor, confused kids. Adoption solves a problem; 'donation' creates one.

It's also no accident that these two most materialistic of races have driven up their going rate-- it's the flip side of their women embarrening themselves chasing whatever they're chasing on the way to 40.

At least with Asians, it's purely a racial issue. Particularly ironic is the religious angle for the Jews. Now some poor schmuck rabbi has to be enlisted to verify that the egg donor is a genuine Jewess.

Populations that paint themselves into this corner deserve to die out. Cf. late Rome...

Anonymous said...

We are becoming, on average, less morally responsible to each other and thus more dependent on government.

And do you honestly - in your heart of hearts - think that, to a Scots-Irishman like Krugman - lesser moral responsibility and greater dependence on government would be a BAD thing?!?

I mean, come on, seriously dude, be for real.

PS: Speaking of moral responsibility - fresh on the heels of Elizabeth Warren's fabricated "Cherokee" ancestry, Slashdot is all ablaze with talk of the Yahoo CEO who's been lying for years about his college degree.

stari_momak said...

"It would be interesting to know what percentage of white women are requesting Asian eggs or sperm for fertilization. Chinese kids are known for precocity and obedience."

I'm guessing under 5%.

It would also be interesting to know the price of white eggs -- not the composite 'other ethnicities'.

Paul Mendez said...

...a surge in Chinese couples interested in having babies in the Year of the Dragon, considered the luckiest year in the 12-year zodiac calendar.

If the Chinese are so freekin' intelligent and their culture so freekin' old, why are they also so freekin' superstitious?

Anonymous said...

"...the Chinese have a cultural aversion to adoption...want the child to have at least half the parent's genes..."

Interesting to contrast Chinese ethnocentrism here with whites who not only adopt often, but who frequently adopt outside of their racial group.

While the Chinese try to preserve their gentic heritage as much as possible, most whites haven't got a clue.....

Anonymous said...

I've never gotten the impression that Paul Krugman has the slightest idea what makes the average homo sapien, much less the average American, tick, and that's a huge deficiency for a social scientist.

Anonymous said...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/03/2782077/poll-florida-up-for-grabs-in-november.html

Henry Canaday said...

Beowulf:

Yes, Krugman thinks income has become more unequal and taxes more unfair, mostly as a result of bad policies and thus remediable. But he seems not to have to noticed the dramatic changes in people’s behavior toward each other and even toward themselves.

Henry Canaday said...

“Does Krugman think spending has been restrained these last few decades? And that ramping up what has caused the mess in the first place is the way to go?”

I think he thinks that European levels of public spending, at or near 50 percent of GDP, would not harm the economy significantly and might make for a happier people. This is one reason he is willing to risk higher spending lingering on. And he believes it was solely the inevitable mistakes of private capital markets, not public policy, that caused the crash.

Maya said...

"At least with Asians, it's purely a racial issue. Particularly ironic is the religious angle for the Jews. Now some poor schmuck rabbi has to be enlisted to verify that the egg donor is a genuine Jewess."

The vast majority of Jews that I know is secular When they say they want to marry someone Jewish (for example), they mean ethnically Jewish. It wouldn't matter if the person ever goes to temple, because most of them don't, and converting to Judaism wouldn't make you more desirable Basically, these people want Ashkenazi genes, not purity before God.

Maya said...

"As far as what people want, the Danes have the market cornered for sperm. Tall, blond and ivy league are preferred. I don't get it, as I would think dark hair would be more popular and I know red hair is not desired for men."

What's not to get? The market for sperm consists mostly of white women. And unlike what some cuckold fetishists here choose to believe, the vast majority of white women prefer distinctly white men and want to have obviously white children. Many women like blond men and want to have blond kids. Also, it probably filters out the donors with light pink skin who are by most measures white, but are of obvious middle eastern heritage.

Anonymous said...

I think the provenance of the egg is critical to price. Obviously, a white college student at a Yale will get more money for her egg than a Chinese student at Rutgers. The lower average cost of white eggs, if it is lower, might reflect the fact that many of the donors are probably 20-something punks swept up from places like Telegraph Ave in Berkeley, CA, who need money for a new skateboard or eyebrow piercing.

Reg Cæsar said...

Many women like blond men and want to have blond kids. --Maya

Thank you for spelling 'blond' correctly.

As did Baker, Coon, Stoddard, M. Grant, T. Roosevelt and Churchill.

As don't so many on iSteve, Amren.com and Vdare.com.

Not sure about Taki, Amconmag.com, and the others.

Maya said...

"Thank you for spelling 'blond' correctly"

Boys have a peni... No! I mean, men are blond, and women are blonde.

Anonymous said...

"What's not to get? The market for sperm consists mostly of white women. And unlike what some cuckold fetishists here choose to believe, the vast majority of white women prefer distinctly white men and want to have obviously white children. Many women like blond men and want to have blond kids. Also, it probably filters out the donors with light pink skin who are by most measures white, but are of obvious middle eastern heritage."

I get it. I was thinking of "dark" hair as in European dark, although I don't have a problem with "middle eastern." That wouldn't be a deal breaker for me if I were in the market. But I'd prefer to stick to European because that's my lineage.
On the web sites, the donors list their known lineages according to nationality and ethnicity. These aspects, of course, are less checkable than phenotype. Still, I suspect most are honest because they wouldn't be there if there were not a market for their product. There is a selection process and human eggs are perishable. I think they can be frozen but not as easily as sperm.
Many of the donors put up child photos of themselves.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
I think the provenance of the egg is critical to price. Obviously, a white college student at a Yale will get more money for her egg than a Chinese student at Rutgers. The lower average cost of white eggs, if it is lower, might reflect the fact that many of the donors are probably 20-something punks swept up from places like Telegraph Ave in Berkeley, CA, who need money for a new skateboard or eyebrow piercing."

From what I've heard of both sperm and egg, those from whites with desirable phenotypes (you guess) and "Ivy League" credentials, fetch, by far, the highest bidders. At least they always have. Haven't checked in a year or so, but I doubt gene-suppliers outsourced their genes to China yet.

Anonymous said...

Krugman idolizes Western Europe, with fewer homicides, less poverty, better test-scores. He thinks that is because of bigger governments, and therefore demands that the U.S expands government and "solves" social problems.
Krugmans doesn’t get it because he limits his thinking to the narrow range permitted by liberalism. Consequently his conclusions are silly, regardless of his knowledge of mathematical models. The average reader of this blog would beat Krugman in a (theoretical) fair debate about economics, because there are important pieces of the puzzle you see that he doesn’t.

It’s not just Krugman. Here is the world’s leading economist on growth scratching his head:

“Haiti… is one of the poorest countries in the world. … Its neighbor on the island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic, is significantly richer.”
http://whynationsfail.com/blog/2012/4/3/why-is-haiti-so-poor.html

Anonymous said...

dont forget that one of the traits you get with a donor egg is a person who has no problem abandoning her offspring.

Anonymous said...

"If the Chinese are so smart and their culture so old, why are they so superstitious"?

That is an excellent question. Anyone? Mr Sailer? Maybe this would make a good subject for one of your articles.

Anonymous said...

The Chinese and other East Asians are not super smart. Their mean IQ (103) is only slightly above the Western mean, but their Tiger Mothering culture and persistent work/study habits are major competitive advantages.

Their disadvantages are that they seem to lack intellectual curiosity, individuality, and leadership skills. Which is what happens when you live your life being bullied by Tiger Mom, Tiger Teacher, Tiger Wife, and Tiger Society.

Obey Tiger Mom, obey Tiger Teacher, go to school 10 hours a day, go another 6 hours in cram school, go summer cram school (no holiday for you!), cram for national exam, take exam, go college, become salary man, marry suitable spouse, have kids, obey Tiger Wife. Rinse and repeat for the next generation. Not much room there to become a fully developed human being, pioneer an industrial revolution, or be the next Steve Jobs. It does tend to be a good strategy to succeed in a society built by fully developed human beings (who continually pioneer societal and technological revolutions), one of whom is Steve Jobs.

It's the type of life mentality that comes from millenia of all-consuming toil as an overworked peasant - ever bound to dictatorial family elders and feudal lords. In an environment where the specter of starvation and the ruthlessness of Confucian Mandarins haunt your existence, you gotta buckle down and keep bending over for everybody.

As far back as the late 1800s, Western leaders understood the threat of Asian "coolie" and tried to curb it before it became too immense. Now thanks to the breakdown of immigration restrictionism and the globalization our economy, Americans have to compete against Tiger people.... Not surprisngly, the Tiger people are outworking, outstudying, and outsaving Americans.

Anonymous said...

One difference between Tiger Land and the West is the strength of the family unit v.s. strength of the society. They're stronger in the former and we're stronger in the latter. Our higher level of altruism and stronger willingness to adopt strangers is a product of this.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to know what percentage of white women are requesting Asian eggs or sperm for fertilization. Chinese kids are known for precocity and obedience. In a prestige arms race to get ones kid into the Ivy League, a few Asian genes couldn't hurt.

I'd guess if they were that concerned, they'd probably just select a high quality White guy/woman's seed/egg.

Although the price might cheaper for an Asian person with those qualities (greater supply?). More of an issue for eggs where there is greater supply limit.

ont forget that one of the traits you get with a donor egg is a person who has no problem abandoning her offspring.

egg not offspring. I don't think that many persons will be that bothered by having children who are slightly more likely to be egg donors.

Svigor said...

While the Chinese try to preserve their gentic heritage as much as possible, most whites haven't got a clue.....

But remember, "Cognitive Elitism" means doing what the "Cognitive Elites" tell you to do. It is not Not NOT doing what "Cognitive Elites" do - that's RACISM!!!

Anonymous said...

Some of you guys need to actually read the article. Sure, the eggs of educated, blond whites might be prized by whites, but it is not prized by Asians who want their kids to look like themselves. As infertile Asian couples in Asia get richer, demand for Asian eggs is rising. But there are not enough Asian egg donors. It's supply and demand. In the U.S., enough Ivy-educated, blond whites are donating eggs, so the prices are not as high for their eggs as the prices are for Ivy-educated, Asians.

And some of you need to tone down the generalizations. People are individuals. That's why egg donor profiles don't just list race/ethnicity--they list accomplishments/personalities as well. You can't assume you're getting "intelligence" genes just because you picked an Asian egg. That's ridiculous.

Matthew said...

"Spokesman Sean Tipton said the guidelines say donors should not be compensated extra for "specific characteristics" such as ethnicity, beauty or high test scores."

Oh. Dear. Lord. So a crack ho's eggs are worth the same as a Harvard grad's? If the government ever gets control of the Wild Wild West of egg donation the market will be finished - in the US, at least. Americans looking for donors will travel to Europe or Asia or wherever. The already high cost of egg donation will increase by the price of a European vacation for 2-3.

Also, I wonder who's searching for these magic Asian eggs - Asians who waited too long to breed, or pragmatic Asians who accept genetic reality? Do white men want to breed with an Asian egg as much as they (supposedly) want to breed with actual Asian females?

"Fertility industry experts say there are several reasons Asian eggs are in demand, including a cultural aversion to adoption"

So it's pragmatism. Asians would prefer to raise a genetically well-endowed child over the cast-off offspring of a meth addict, or even offspring of an entirely different race?

Americans and Europeans travel into this world as naive and ignorant about the reality of race as ever a people were.

Matthew said...

"It's the process. Egg donation is grueling by comparison to a plop, and it is no fun at all. It takes a while recover, involves a lot of hormone taking and I've read of some cases where the woman has lasting problems."

Who cares? It's the same job, and women and men should be paid equally for it.

There's always an excuse for why women do better than men - living longer, graduating from college more often, going to jail less often. The only acceptable explanation for when women do worse is "oppression."

"I noticed pure blood black Africans--Nigerians from west Africa, not Somali or Ethiopian--with descriptions of their hair as "straight," an obvious falsity."

Nigerians are known for their honesty WRT internet transactions.

"Adoption solves a problem; 'donation' creates one."

No, it creates a problem - it encourages individuals and families to be irresponsible, knowing full-well they can offload their spawn to some poor, naive fools down the street or halfway around the world.

"Particularly ironic is the religious angle for the Jews. Now some poor schmuck rabbi has to be enlisted to verify that the egg donor is a genuine Jewess."

IS their any greater proof that Judaism is more about DNA than belief?

"dont forget that one of the traits you get with a donor egg is a person who has no problem abandoning her offspring."

How many "offspring" do you abandon into a kleenex each night?

"But remember, "Cognitive Elitism" means doing what the "Cognitive Elites" tell you to do. It is not Not NOT doing what "Cognitive Elites" do - that's RACISM!!!"

Svigor, as always, FTW.

Anonymous said...

"If a woman is infertile...many Asian couples would prefer to use the husband's sperm with a donor's egg to conceive a child that carries at least half of the couple's genetic identity than to adopt a baby from other parents."

Truth be told, I can't imagine why everyone wouldn't prefer this option.